Trend in serious and major incidents

Safety has the highest priority for Air Traffic Control. Attention is continually given to improving safety. The focus is on learning from the incidents that occur in practice and on preventing them happening again.

Our goal is to improve safety in the long term. Therefore, it is important to continually monitor the general trend in safety of our operation. This monitoring pays special attention to the significant incidents. These are incidents that pose a risk to the safe handling of aircraft and/or ground vehicles that can be in the vicinity of each other. Here it is not important which organisations or individuals played a role in the incident.

Significant incidents fall within the  ICAO severity classification system, 'serious' and 'major'.

15 February 2017. A number of incidents were still being investigated on that date. Therefore, the presented data give a snapshot of the situation on that date.

Every point on the trend line indicates the average number of significant incidents per 10,000 handled flights over the past twelve months, this is called the twelve-month average. This average is used to avoid transitory seasonal influences. Normalisation to the number of flights reduces the fluctuations resulting from changes in traffic volume.  

Because, by definition, significant incidents occur infrequently, it is always possible for there to be an occasional rise or fall in a specific period. In such situations, an investigation must determine whether the trend provides a realistic picture of the safety situation. 

In 2015 and 2016, we mainly saw an increase in the number of incidents in the ground process. These concern incidents on platforms and taxiways involving aircraft and/or ground vehicles. Various actions have been introduced to reduce these incidents, for instance the establishment of the Ground Movement Safety Team within the Schiphol Safety Platform (Veiligheidsplatform Schiphol (VpS)).