The occurrence reporting databases of EASA, the Member States and organisations shall use formats which are:
(a) standardised to facilitate information exchange; and
(b) compatible with the ECCAIRS Software and the ADREP taxonomy.
The Key Principle from Guidance Material to Regulation (EU) 376/2014:
Occurrence reports contained in an organisation database and sent to the competent authority shall comply with format specifications that include the compatibility with the ECCAIRS Software and the ADREP Taxonomy, the use of standardised formats and the provision of mandatory data fields.
When occurrence reports are received at EASA and the Member States from both individuals and organisations they are entered into ECCAIRS compatible databases. Historically, this task involves manual data entry from paper forms into the electronic ECCAIRS system. However this is extremely time consuming and takes resources away from Safety Management. It also leads to reduce the quality of data in ECCAIRS databases that is used for analysis of safety. The main purpose of the Regulation is to use standard report and data transfer formats to reduce the level of manual data entry. Such standard reports and data transfer formats also help people across the European Aviation Community to report in the same way and use the same terminology.
The European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS) is a software tool that assists National and European Transport entities in implementing the safety data collection, storage and dissemination requirement of Regulation (EU) 996/2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation and Regulation (EU) 376/2014 on the reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences in civil aviation. Occurrences provided to EASA, National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) and Safety Investigation Authorities (SIAs) are entered and stored in ECCAIRS databases at national level and within EASA. Data collected by EASA and at National Level are then uploaded into the European Central Repository (ECR) that is also an ECCAIRS database. ECCAIRS was first released in 1998 and soon after that work started on extending this initial version to support various ICAO standards and the previous EU Directive 2003/42/2003 on occurrence reporting. In August 2003, ECCAIRS 4 was released and the current version of ECCAIRS, version 5, was released in 2011.
The Accident Reporting System (ADREP) Taxonomy was originally developed by ICAO to standardise the reporting of accidents and incidents at global level. This taxonomy is used within the ECCAIRS system and is currently updated at European Level by the ECCAIRS Taxonomy WG that is chaired by EASA and supported at global level through the CAST/ ICAO Common Taxonomy Team. Because the taxonomy covers the full range of data collection needed for in-depth reports on aircraft accidents it has over 1200 data fields. However, many of these fields are not needed for occurrence reporting and therefore a smaller, reduced sub-set of the taxonomy is used for this purpose, this is called the Reduced Interface Taxonomy (RIT).