HL Deb 21 March 1985 vol 461 c755WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the system for reporting collisions and "near misses" between—

  1. (a) aircraft; and
  2. (b) ships
and in each case what are the procedures under the law for setting up inquiries.

The Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

Aircraft accidents are required to be notified to the Chief Inspector of Accidents of the Department of Transport by the aircraft commander, operator or aerodrome authority, as appropriate, by the quickest means of communication available. The Chief Inspector of Accidents obtains his mandate to carry out investigations from the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations 1983.

In United Kingdom airspace an airmiss report should be made by any pilot immediately by radio to the air traffic service unit in contact at the time, when he considers that a risk of collision has been occasioned by the proximity of another aircraft. Where the event involves a public transport aircraft over 2,300 kg operated by the holder of an United Kingdom air operator's certificate it must be reported in order to comply with Article 82 of the Air Navigation Order 1980.

The Joint Airmiss Section of the National Air Traffic Service carries out the investigation of airmisses in United Kingdom airspace.

There is no system for reporting collisions or "near misses", as such, between ships. however, Section 73 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1970 requires the reporting of such casualties as are mentioned in Section 55(1) of the Act, which includes "damage to a ship": in practice this encompasses a collision. Under Section 55(1A) the Secretary of State may cause an inquiry to be held when an incident capable of causing a casualty has occurred. This could include a "near miss". The inquiry may take the form of a preliminary inquiry or a public formal investigation.