The International Federation of Airworthiness (IFA) has presented the 2012 Whittle Safety Award to Peter Tait, Chief Executive of the UK Confidential Human Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP), and his team, Mike Skinner and Kirsty Arnold. The award was presented at CHIRP Air Transport Advisory Board meeting on 8thJanuary 2013 by John Saull, Executive Director, IFA.
‘In recognition of their contribution to aviation safety, through the development of a confidential reporting programme on human performance issues and concerns. An addition to formal reporting systems within the United Kingdom, the programme covers all aviation related sectors and disciplines.‘
Although CHIRP has been around since 1982 initially covering flight operations and air traffic control; its current form and status started in 1996 when airworthiness was included.
Understanding ‘what’ airworthiness related errors occur is paramount and information to assist in collective analysis of de-identified data provided from two sources; by the CHIRP MEMS (Maintenance Error Management Systems) Group’s 29 members having conducted a MEDA (Maintenance Error Decision Aid) review and from maintenance related events recorded on the UK CAA MOR (Mandatory Occurrence Reporting) system. Understanding ‘why’ incidents occur is probably the most difficult part of any assessment; the group has been developing methods to assist in improving knowledge in this area. This programme covers a subject of keen interest to IFA, the interfaces between Flight Crew and Maintenance engineering.
Peter has provided stalwart leadership of this programme, balancing the confidentiality of the reporters in the system against the need to act on safety threats. Covering Flight Operations, Airworthiness, Cabin Crew and General Aviation the organisation has contributed to addressing safety concerns in a pragmatic yet effective manner.