EASA Air Ops Risk Review for 2020
In late February 2021, EASA published the agency’s annual Air Ops Risk Review for 2020. The document contains a summary of the previous year from a safety perspective and a description of key tasks for EASA in 2021.
As it may be expected, the massive impact of the COVID19 pandemic is mentioned first, pointing out that the full extent of the pandemic’s consequences on safety is not fully understood at this time. To address the latest challenges and to identify any new risks associated with the current safety landscape, EASA established a COVID-19 Safety Risk portfolio and the Return to Normal Operations Task Force, to mention just two of the many activities related to the consequences of the pandemic.
Even if the pandemic had an immense impact on aviation safety, it is not the only safety issue that concerned EASA in 2020. The other major safety concern that the agency highlights is the rise of cyber-security and security threats impacting safety in aviation. This is seen as a consequence of the ongoing digitalisation in the aviation sector.
A growing number of cyber-attacks and a significant increase in cyber events affecting some of the major aviation organizations in Europe, together with increased concern regarding conflict zones, have led to the agency devoting resources to physical and cybersecurity risk management. The goal is the development of an operational platform that will provide a quick alert to airspace users of situations requiring attention or action.
For 2021, the Agency highlights the further development of the Data4Safety program that will have finalised the proof-of-concept phase, as well as the recently published EPAS 2021-2025 where details of the wide range of planned safety actions by the agency are described.