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The Onshore Safety Review (CAP1864)

This article was published in 2019 with the aim of providing an assessment of safety performance for UK onshore helicopter operations and to set actions or make recommendations to improve safety, with the ultimate aim of minimising the likelihood of accidents and incidents. 

Since publication, both the COVID-19 pandemic and changes brought by Brexit have meant a delay to the progress of many actions and recommendations. Furthermore, some areas of the report are now less relevant, whilst others will need increased focus due to, for example, changes and advancement in technology over the last few years.

Where Actions or Recommendations have been closed, a statement will provide summary detail of the closure.

Any Actions and Recommendations that are currently open are being advanced by either the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Onshore Safety Leadership Group (OnSLG) or Industry and will be updated as regularly as possible, with those not yet shown being in the development stage.

Flight Operations Actions

Action 27

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will work with the onshore industry to develop and implement similar objectives to the OHSLG through an Onshore Safety Leadership Group for CAT and emergency service operations.

Action Response

The Onshore Safety Leadership Group (OnSLG) has been established to help deliver appropriate actions and recommendation published in CAP1864 - The Onshore Helicopter Review (2019.) Its purpose is to set a strategic safety agenda for the onshore helicopter industry and to work collectively with stakeholders, operators and regulatory bodies to help shape the future of helicopter safety management in the UK.



Close Action 27

Action 15

Action Text

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will liaise with NATS to review the NOTAM system with the aim of improving the presentation of information to end users.

Action Response

The UK CAA is responsible for the form and content of the UK Aeronautical Products and NATS, as the UK Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) provider, is responsible for the preparation and availability of the products. These products are supplied in accordance with UK AIP GEN 0.1.

On 12 August 2021, the NATS website underwent a signification update to improve its features and functionality.

The data provided by AIS is freely available for both commercial and non-commercial pilots and includes a separate page on NOTAMs covering:

  • News
  • Guidance Material
  • Q Codes and NOTAM Selection Criteria
  • NOTAM request form
  • NOTAM position collection
  • Harmonised NOTAM

Pre-flight Information Bulletins (PIB) provide NOTAM access as a part of the NATS Briefing Services and provide a recapitulation of valid NOTAMs of operational significance. The improved service now provides both better functionality, improved presentation and the ability to graphically display NOTAMs on a user defined map.



Close Action 15

Action 17

Action Text

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will conduct a review of all of its training, standards and guidance material associated with the onshore helicopter industry to ensure that it is relevant and up to date.

Action Response

Due to the changes of regulation made necessary by Brexit, several CAA Publications required amendment before being reissued during 2021.

This gave the CAA Helicopter Section the opportunity to review, reconcile and update their primary Standard Documents, thereby providing the helicopter industry the latest training, standards and guidance material.

The following helicopter specific Standards Documents were reviewed and updated.

Review and Updates

17 May 2021

  • CAA Standards Document 1(H) - Notes for the Guidance of Applicants taking the Initial Instrument Rating Skill Test Helicopters
  • CAA Standards Document 3(H) - Notes for the Guidance of Applicants taking the CPL Skill Test (Helicopters)
  • CAA Standards Document 10(H) - Authorised Flight Instructor Examiners (Helicopters) Instructors undergoing Assessment of Competence
  • CAA Standards Document 19(H) - Notes for the Guidance of Applicants taking the PPL Skill Test (Helicopters)
  • CAA Standards Document 21(H) - Guidance for Applicants taking the Helicopter Examiners Assessment of Competence and Providers of Examiner Standardisation Training

23 April 2021

  • UK CAA Helicopter Flight Examiners Manual



Close Action 17

Action 20

Action Text

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will review its policy and guidance to industry on the use of Simulation for training and testing.

Action Response

In its response to Action 17, whereby the CAA updated and amended its Standards and Guidance Material, the opportunity was taken to review and enhance any published guidance on the use of Simulation.

The following Standards Documents were updated and contain specific guidance for Simulation:

CAA Standards Document Reference 1H - Notes for the Guidance of Applicants taking the Initial Instrument Rating Skill Test Helicopters

  • Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) usage for Performance Based Navigation (PBN)
  • SRG2135 Section 6
  • Multi Engine Instrument Rating Upgrade 

CAA Standards Document 10(H) - Authorised Flight Instructor Examiners (Helicopters) Instructors undergoing Assessment of Competence

  • Content and conduct of Type Rating Instructor (TRI) Assessment
  • TRI Renewal
  • Synthetic Flight Instructor (SFI) restricted privileges
  • Synthetic Flight (SF) Revalidation

CAA Standards Document 19(H) - Notes for the Guidance of Applicants taking the PPL Skill Test (Helicopters)

  • SRG1172 Section 5

CAA Standards Document 21(H) - Guidance for Applicants taking the Helicopter Examiners Assessment of Competence and Providers of Examiner Standardisation Training

  • Variation on privileges
  • Examiner Assessment of Compliance (EAoC) conducted in simulators
  • Type Rating Examiner (TRE) / Synthetic Flight Examiner (SFE) Requirements
  • Standardisation – Facilities & Training Manual & Personnel & Course Syllabus
    TRE b(4) Requirements

UK CAA Helicopter Flight Examiners Manual 

  • Flight Test Guidance – FSTDs
  • ANNEX 1 – Use of FSTDs
  • APPENDIX 1-10



Close Action 20

Flight Operations Recommendations 

Recommendation 01

The onshore review has shown important safety related data is not being captured as part of the ECCAIRS occurrence reporting system. It is recommended that EASA propose, to the ECCAIRS working group, amendments to the existing taxonomy for Human Factors and the ability to identify the HF additional contributory factors in events.

Recommendation Response

Mandatory Occurrence Report (MORs) has been a part of the fabric of UK aviation operations since 1976. Reporting is mandated by UK Regulation 376/2014 which requires the reporting of safety related occurrences involving UK airspace users.

ECCAIRS (European Co-ordination Center for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems) provides a digital platform to integrate European National Aviation Authorities (NAA’s) and Safety Investigation Authorities (SIA’s) to enable the implementation of the provisions defined in regulation 376/2014.

Since publication of CAP1864, there has been significant developments and improvements within the ECCAIRS system when it transitioned for ECCAIRS Ver1 to ECCAIRS2, including:

  • State of the art IT technology secured central architecture, private cloud environment, managed by EASA.
  • Integrated cybersecurity protocols, with Multi-Factor-Authentication and fully encrypted data.
  • Compatibility with all internet browsers and operating systems.
  • User-friendly interfaces.
  • All updates, fixes, enhancements for both the Software and the Taxonomy values immediately available for users.
  • Central support via built-in “helpdesk” to report issues, ask questions, propose improvements.
  • Integration into Data4Safety program of the EC/EASA, subject to strict data protection as per EU 376/2014: advanced analytics, insights and auto-improved data quality to support aviation safety. 

Furthermore, a new version of the European Aviation Safety Reporting Portal was published on 5th Jan 2021. The portal is available at aviationreporting.eu 

With regards the recommendation that there be amendments to the existing taxonomy for HF, this was included in the upgrade to ECCAIRS2, with the taxonomy now containing a broad range of human factors and human performance related event types. The personnel section contains 103 level 4 event types that cover the majority of HF related contributory factors required for retrieval and analysis.

The taxonomy needs to strike a balance between capturing the required detail and usability as the individuals that apply the taxonomy (industry and CAA) will not be subject matter experts in the field.

For the large majority of MORs that are processed the taxonomy adequately captures the HF elements involved. Feedback on coding practices, monitoring and continual learning by the capability teams and Safety Data help to ensure that the events are coded to the required standard.



Close Recommendation 01

Recommendation 04

It is recommended that operators show clear evidence of operational control as defined in AMC1 ORO.GEN.110 (c), ensuring that there is a clear tasking process separating the customer and the flight crew.


Recommendation Response


Although this recommendation was directed at operators, the CAA acknowledged a need for guidance in both understanding and implementation.

Safety Notice 2022/005 - Commercial, Organisations and Client Pressure in Flight Operations, was published on 18 July 2022 to address this Recommendation, as well as AAIB Safety Recommendation 2021-031, with the purpose of highlighting the risks associated with commercial pressure and the importance of separating the customer from the flight crew when making operational decisions.

Verifying and monitoring the implementation of this Safety Notice has been incorporated into routine oversight activity, and the prevalence of commercial pressure has been considered when assessing operators’ safety management systems. Where identified as a hazard, commercial pressure can be highlighted at entity level and/or sector level, resulting in further engagement/promotion at the various industry forums attended by the CAA.




Close Recommendation 04