International rules determine when and under what conditions aircraft and airlines are allowed to fly internationally.
Dutch rules for the aviation sector
International and European rules are incorporated in Dutch law, the Wet luchtvaart (Act on Aviation, in Dutch only). This Act contains, among other things, rules and regulations for:
- air traffic control;
- military aviation.
The ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment strives to make aviation safer, even more safe than it is today. The introduction of Safety management systems supports this objective. The ministry has published a State Safety Programme (in Dutch only) and an Actionplan.
The basic principles of the Agenda Aviation Safety are:
- A high level of safety and continuous improvement thereof, so there is no increase in the number of accidents;
- The aviation sector has proven that it's well aware of the fact that safety is of paramount importance. This means that it is possible to grant the sector greater freedom in taking responsibility itself on the basis of sound safety-management systems;
- A reduction in red tape and the administrative burden. A different role for the government is needed to restrict the costs of safety measures as much as possible.
Learning from accidents and incidents
Aviation is a very safe mode of transport and aviation accidents are the exception, not the rule. Despite the growth of aviation, the number of accidents has not increased.
An important goal is to learn from things that went wrong and to prevent repetition. This not only involves accidents, but also incidents not necessarily resulting in accidents, from which we can learn a great deal.
Incidents are reported to the Analysebureau Luchtvaartvoorvallen (Civil Aviation Incident Analysis Department, in Dutch only).
Nonetheless, when accidents do occur, the Dutch Safety Board performs an investigation.
Aviation safety oversight
In the Netherlands, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) is responsible for safety oversight.
International and European rules for the aviation sector
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (the United Nations specialised agency for international aviation) sets standards and recommended practices for the aviation sector.
The European Union (EU) elaborates the guidelines of ICAO in European legislation. The European Commission is supported by two specialised agencies:
- Eurocontrol (the European Organisation for Air Navigation);
- European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Fly to, from and within Europe
European Airlines wishing to fly to/from and within Europe must meet a number of requirements. They must have an operating licence known as an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), issued by its national authority. These flight standards also describe the procedures that have to be followed and the requirements that must be met by flight crews.
European flight ban
The European Union considers the safety of the aviation sector of great importance. If minimum ICAO standards are not met, a European flight ban can be imposed on authorities and/or its airlines. As a consequence, these authorities and/or airlines are listed on a European safety list. As a consequence airlines on this list are not allowed to fly to and from the territories of countries within the European Union. European citizens are discouraged to use these airlines.
The European safety list of airlines gives an overview of measures taken by the European Union.
The Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SMICG) published many documents promoting Safety management on her SKYbrary portal.