Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana

02. Safety investigation

What is the purpose of a safety investigation?

The purpose of the safety investigations is the determination of the causes and contributing factors exclusively to prevent future accidents and serious incidents, never for the determination of fault or liability of any kind, civil, administrative or criminal.

How long does it take the completion of the investigation of an accident or serious incident?

The International Civil Aviation Organization and Regulation 996/2010 establish a recommended 12 months term since the event occurred. Sometimes, depending on the complexity of the investigation and other factors, it is not always possible to fulfil that deadline; in such cases CIAIAC publish an interim statement with the most relevant investigation information on each anniversary of the event. Additionally, a few days after being reported a brief note of the accident is made public on the CIAIAC website.

How I can access to information and documents from the investigation of an accident or serious incident?

Applicable law strongly protects the information collected by the safety investigation authorities as it is considered reserved information by the Act on Air Safety. The legislation covers the unique circumstances under which such information may be disclosed to third parties.

Do I have to collaborate with the safety investigation authority if it is required to?

The purpose of the technical investigation is exclusively to prevent future accidents and serious incidents. Therefore, the collaboration of personnel involved and witnesses with safety investigation authority may be critical to help identify its causes and contributing factors and, thus, contribute effectively to improve safety. For this reason, the law provides for the obligation to cooperate with the investigation, also collecting appropriate sanctions in case of refusal or absence of collaboration.

How can I participate in the CIAIAC safety investigation of an accident or serious incident?

The participation of States, organizations and individuals in a safety investigation is strongly determined by the applicable regulations.

The following are entitled to appoint an accredited representative:

- the State of Registry

- the State of the Operator

- the State of Design

- the State of Manufacture

Additionally, the accident investigation authorities may decide to incorporate experts, advisors and other organizations, if deemed necessary. In any case, the incorporation of these experts and advisors will always be demanded by CIAIAC.