Airlines need to guard against criminal proceedings, says ERA

The criminalisation of air accidents is increasing, particularly within the EU, and is an alarming element of the responsibilities of directors and key post holders in air operating companies. In response to this worrying situation the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), in partnership with association member, Hill Dickinson, a leading aviation legal specialist, have updated the report Personal and corporate liability and responsibility in air accidents and incidents* that explains what these threats are and how they can be best managed in the event of a serious incident or accident.The report looks at how to prepare for such an event and includes advice on areas including insurance, training, media strategy and conducting a parallel internal air accident investigation in case of an accident. Providing best practice guidance, it will be regularly reviewed and updated.Joanna Kolatsis, co-head of Hill Dickinson’s aviation team, relaunched the revised document on the first day of ERA’s Regional Airline Conference 2015, being held in Rome between 15 and 16 April. She explains: “In an increasingly litigious society airline boards and senior executives need to prepare for accidents and incidents and potential criminal prosecution. Failure to take the necessary measures can expose companies to corporate manslaughter charges and both executive and non-executive directors need to be aware of their legal obligations.”

Simon McNamara, director general ERA, adds: “Being operationally prepared for a serious event is very different to being prepared for possible criminal action. The advice and information in this document explains what the threats are and, more importantly, the measures available to protect against criminal liability exposure and how they can be managed should the worst happen.

Rome, 15 April 2015

To access the report*, please click here.


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