Supporting Safety Assessments

The Surveillance Modernisation and Support (SMS) team’s safety work encompasses a wide range of activities, from international standardisation to support to local implementation.

SMS ensures that both the European Commission’s and EUROCONTROL’s rules and safety methods are duly taken into account in international ADS-B standardisation (joint EUROCAE/RTCA standards) and for WAM (wide area multilateration) activities carried out in Europe.

As we move closer to developing ADS-B and WAM applications, we have to make sure that each proposal is theoretically safe before - and practically safe after - implementation. So, the SMS team produces a Preliminary Safety Case (PSC) for each application.

Safety Case and Preliminary Safety Case (PSC)

The Safety Case gives documented assurance for achieving and maintaining safety. It is a means of assuring service providers and project teams that their products are and will be safe.

A Safety Case consists of a set of arguments (statements used to claim that the service or system concerned is safe), on which the case is built. The arguments are shored up with evidence (information, based on established facts or expert judgement) to show that each one is valid. Building a Safety Case involves structuring and documenting a summary of the results of a Safety Assessment as well as other activities (e.g. simulations, surveys, etc.). It demonstrates how these results can guarantee safety.

The Preliminary Safety Case is the term used by EUROCONTROL to describe an interim (incomplete) version of a Safety Case. It includes the Safety Requirements and is usually produced on completion of the preliminary stage of safety assessment. 

A EUROCONTROL Preliminary Safety Case is necessarily generic and cannot take local variations into account; it does not cover implementation aspects in any detailed form. It does, however, present a high-level Argument structure for implementation to provide implementers with an input that they may adapt when building their full Safety Case.

Please contact us for copies of the Preliminary Safety Case documents that we have available.

Safety Case Development Manual (SCDM)

The Preliminary Safety Cases are developed according to the EUROCONTROL Safety Case Development Manual (SCDM) which now forms a part of the EUROCONTROL Air Navigation Safety Assessment Methodology (SAM). Despite being part of SAM, the document is intended to fulfil the requirements of EU1035/2011 and is equally applicable to other sound safety assessment processes.

Role of the Safety Regulation Commission (SRC)

The SMS Preliminary Safety Cases are reviewed by the Safety Regulatory Commission. This provides a common starting point for the Air Navigation Service Providers’ (ANSPs) local Safety Cases; it helps prove the safety argument on a regulatory level and minimises the risks and efforts required from the implementer in developing their own local Safety Case. Submitting the Preliminary Safety Case to the SRC for review also helps to facilitate and accelerate the approval process at a national regulatory level.

SRC Position Papers on the SMS ADS-B Preliminary Safety Case

The Safety Regulation Commission has already approved SRC Position Papers on the Preliminary Safety Case for ADS-B-NRA, ADS-B-RAD, ATSA-VSA and for ADS-B APT which has gone through the Review Process.

These four Preliminary Safety Cases (PSC) and their related SRC Position Papers were developed with the aim of providing important reference material and input to assist ANSPs in producing their individual Local Safety Cases. Additional PSCs addressing the other ADS-B and WAM applications are currently being developed and are under SRC safety review.

Generic Surveillance Safety and Performance Requirement  (GEN SUR SPR)

A few years ago, the EUROCONTROL Surveillance and Code Coordination Unit, with support from stakeholders, initiated the drafting of a Generic Surveillance Safety and Performance Requirement (GEN SUR SPR). The matter was then undertaken by EUROCAE, which, in 2015, established Working Group WG-102 with the objective of developing a EUROCAE GEN-SUR SPR standard. The EUROCONTROL working draft Ed 1.3 of GEN SUR SPR document is one of the inputs to the EUROCAE WG102 activity. The document is superseded by the EUROCAE WG102 work and access to it is therefore restricted.  If you are interested in the EUROCONTROL draft document in support of the EUROCAE work, please contact us.  Parties interested in further contributing to this work and in accessing GEN-SUR SPR document updates are invited to contact EUROCAE.

Surveillance Modernisation Support team

Contact us for further information