New head for Airprox Board

Date: 27 August 2013

A new Director has been appointed to the independent body that investigates airprox incidents in UK airspace. Steve Forward, a former Royal Air Force Air Commodore takes over the role at the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) with immediate effect. Jointly funded by the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Aviation Authority, UKAB assesses over 150 airprox incidents annually involving civil, commercial and military aircraft.

Steve takes over the role from Ian Dugmore who leaves to take over as the new head of CHIRP (Confidential Human factors Incident Reporting Programme).

A former Tornado and Harrier pilot, Steve Forward saw active service in the Middle East before assuming tactical operational roles in the region. He was also heavily involved in security planning for the London 2012 Olympics.

Commenting on his new role, Steve, said: “UK civil and military aviation has an excellent safety record, in no small part thanks to the work of organisations like UKAB, which has contributed greatly to the understanding of pilots and air traffic controllers of how airprox incidents occur, and more importantly how to avoid them in future. It is a real pleasure to be able to lead UKAB over the next few years.”

For more information contact the UKAB Press Office on tel.020 7453 6025;

Notes to Editors:

An Airprox is defined as: a situation in which, in the opinion of a pilot or controller, the distance between aircraft, as well as their relative positions and speed, have been such that the safety of the aircraft was, or may have been, compromised.

The UKAB is made up predominantly of pilots and controllers. It comprises a Chairman (the Director) and a mix of civil and military Members, all acknowledged experts within their fields of aviation. Their expertise covers commercial air transport, general aviation and military flying (both fixed wing and rotary), along with civil and military air traffic control.

The UKAB does not apportion blame or liability and has no legal powers: its sole aim is to enhance flight safety by assessing what happened in terms of ‘cause’ and ‘risk’ and then raising awareness of the findings within the aviation community. Where appropriate, the UKAB can make specific safety recommendations for changes in procedures or, for instance, the introduction of new equipment.

There are four risk categories agreed at international level, as follows:

A - risk of collision, an actual risk of collision existed
B - safety not assured, the safety of the aircraft was compromised
C - no risk of collision, no risk of collision existed
D - risk not determined, insufficient information was available to determine the risk involved, or inconclusive or conflicting evidence precluded such determination.