The Aviation Programmes

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CHIRP receives confidential incident reports from all groups of the UK aviation industry; Air Transport (Flight Crew and Cabin Crew), General Aviation, Air Traffic Control, Engineers, Ground Handling & Security and Drone/UAS operators. On receipt, reports are acknowledged by the CHIRP Secretariat, allocated a unique reference identification and, as far as is possible, discussed and validated with the reporter either by email, letter or telephone call.  Anonymous reports are not normally acted upon because they cannot be validated. 

The report information is reviewed by the CHIRP Secretariat with the objectives of determining the contributing factors and identifying and championing any corrective actions or resolutions that might be appropriate. After ensuring that the report contains all the relevant information, and only if the reporter consents, the concern is then represented to the appropriate agency as appropriate and the reporter is subsequently advised of any action taken in response to their report.  Only dis-identified information is used in discussions with third-party organisations, thus assuring the confidentiality of the reporter in any contact with an external organisation.

Subject to the reporter’s agreement, at the end of the process the dis-identified report, associated agency comments and summarising CHIRP comments are published in the relevant CHIRP ‘FEEDBACK’ newsletter in order to disseminate widely any lessons learnt or matters of interest for the wider community. Further dis-identification (for instance of time and place, company, reporter's gender) is usually undertaken before publication in FEEDBACK or making data available to other agencies. FEEDBACK maintains an awareness of Human Factors issues among the aviation communities and provides a forum for discussion. FEEDBACK newsletters consist of separately titled ‘Air Transport’ (ATFB), ‘Cabin Crew’ (CCFB), ‘General Aviation’ (GAFB), ‘Ground Handling & Security’ (GHSFB) and Drone/UAS’ (DUASFB); each containing reports and current topics of particular relevance to those sectors.  ATFB is distributed four times a year by email to all commercially-licensed pilots, air traffic controllers and engineering personnel.  GAFB is also primarily distributed by email four times a year, with some hardcopies being sent to training organisations, flying clubs and air traffic control units.  Because there is no centralised record of Cabin Crew email contact details, CCFB is predominantly distributed in hard-copy and electronically through the major airlines, with some additional electronic distribution to those who have provided CHIRP with their email details.  GHSFB is similarly distributed in hardcopy through organisations, and DUASFB is distributed electronically to those on the UK drone register.

Following publication in FEEDBACK (or when the CHIRP investigation process is concluded if not), the report is then closed and all personal details of the reporter are removed from the CHIRP reporting system so that future confidentiality is maintained; only the dis-identified information and the unique reference identification are retained on the CHIRP database.  Thus, after the deletion of personal details, CHIRP is unable subsequently to contact the reporter.  However, the reporter may, if they wish, contact the CHIRP office about the report by using the reference identification.  The retained dis-identified information is subsequently aggregated for analysis of key topics and trends, and associated anonymised intelligence is processed on a regular basis for submission to the CAA (SARG) Safety Investigations and Data Department.

In addition to maintaining contact with relevant agencies through the Advisory Board nominees, CHIRP maintains regular contact with the principal agencies in the commercial and general aviation industries through visits and presentations.  CHIRP is also represented on a number of UK aviation safety bodies, including the UK Flight Safety Committee and maintains a close liaison with other UK and international Human Factors groups.

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