Level Bust

The Level Bust is one of the principal products delivered in the area of incident reporting and data sharing.

Seeking solutions today for tomorrow's challenges

Improvements in safety management and reporting systems have given us an insight into the extent of the level bust problem in Europe. A great deal of work has been carried out by authorities, institutions and operators to understand the causes of level busts. However, despite these efforts, the number of reported level bust incidents has not fallen in recent years. The widespread adoption of TCAS has significantly reduced the likelihood of a mid-air collision following a level bust but the issue remains one of concern to the air transport community.

To further raise awareness and understanding of the level bust issue, EUROCONTROL runs a series of workshops. These workshops bring together operators, service providers, manufacturers and institutions to develop practical and effective solutions for reducing the number of level busts and mitigating the risks associated with level busts.

Level Bust Safety Initiative

The Level Bust Safety Initiative, aimed at reducing the number and potential consequences of level busts, began in 2001. Following the successful adoption of the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Level Bust, the Initiative is moving to  the implementation and monitoring phase.

Action Plan

"More than 500 aviation professionals helped to make it true"

Reducing Level busts is one of EUROCONTROL's highest priorities. EUROCONTROL began raising awareness of the issue in 2001, organised a series of workshops and established a Level Bust Task Force to define the recommendations and formulate an action plan to reduce level busts.

The Level Bust action plan is the product of the work carried out by EUROCONTROL’s cross-industry Level Bust Task Force, which was set up in 2003. The Task Force reviewed the evidence available, identified the principal causal factors, and took on board ANSPs and aircraft operator experience in reducing level busts.

The Action Plan contains recommendations for air traffic management, air traffic controllers and aircraft operators. It is designed to reduce the frequency of level busts and the risks associated with level busts. Implementation of the Action Plan will be monitored by the Task Force monitoring group reporting to the EUROCONTROL Safety Improvement Sub Group (SISG).

The Action Plan includes a series of briefing notes that give detailed information and guidance:

  • Gen 1: Level Busts - Overview
  • Gen 2: Pilot-Controller Communications
  • Gen 3: Call Sign Confusion
  • Ops 1: Standard Operating Procedures
  • Ops 2: Altimeter Setting Procedures
  • Ops 3: Standard Calls
  • Ops 4: Aircraft Technical Equipment
  • Ops 5: ACAS
  • Ops 6: Human Factors
  • Ops 7: Safety Reporting - Operators
  • ATM 1: Understanding the Causes of Level Busts
  • ATM 2: Reducing Level Busts
  • ATM 3: Safety Reporting - ATM
  • ATM 4: Airspace & Procedure Design

Download the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Level Bust

Tool Kit

The Level Bust Tool Kit was the subject of an ad-hoc workshop organised jointly by IATA and EUROCONTROL.

A multimedia interactive application

The Level Bust Tool Kit is produced as a multimedia interactive application. It is an useful reference for pilots, controllers, safety officers from the aircraft operators and safety managers and experts from ANSPs.

The Level Bust Tool Kit gives the user access to the “European Action Plan for the Prevention of Level Bust” and the Implementation checklists.

Because of its modular approach and interactive design, with a logical sequence of actions, the safety manager will be able to raise awareness of the level bust issue within an organisation and reduce the risk associated with it.

Both the Action Plan and the Implementation Checklists link to a set of briefing notes that give detailed information and focussed guidance. These are in turn linked to further, appropriate reference material and other sources of information.

The Level Bust Tool Kit includes an interactive tutorial module designed for pilots and air traffic controllers, developed in conjunction with EUROCONTROL’s Institute of Air Navigation Services in Luxembourg. The Level Bust Tutorial Module features a series of scenarios, based upon actual level bust incidents. It is followed by a series of questions designed to allow the pilot or controller to make their own considered conclusions regarding the causal factors. The key learning points are then highlighted. The Module follows two parallel themes of “aviation safety” and “human performance limitations” and contains the following topics:

  • Airspace Design
  • ATC Procedures
  • Aircraft Equipment
  • ACAS

Access Level Bust Tool Kit on-line

Material & documents