USCA rejects the judicial decision to charge two Swiss air traffic controllers with criminal intent
USCA rejects the decision by Swiss prosecutors to sue and charge an air traffic controller with criminal intent, after reporting an honest mistake, with no fatalities or damage to aircraft.
This happens for the second time in less than a year, despite the following investigation, carried out by the Swiss ANSP and aviation authorities, found no ground to take disciplinary actions
This sentence is a blow to the Just Culture principle, supported by several European regulations and endorsed by the Swiss government. This principle aims at the prevention of air accidents by promoting the reporting of honest mistakes and flaws identified in the system, in order to take actions before a tragedy occurs. It is paramount, for the success of this systemic approach, that reporters do not fear reprisals for their actions, as long as there has been no gross negligence or wilful misconduct.
USCA is deeply saddened by this news, since this decision hampers the overall safety of aviation, by subverting the spirit of one of the most important tools in the air safety management system: occurrence reporting.
As professionals of air traffic control, we stand in unconditional solidarity with our fellow controllers from Switzerland, and will keep working with them, in order to achieve the highest level of safety in air transportation.