Sector Risk Profiles - More Information

What is a Sector Risk Profile?

Aviation contains elements of risk by the very nature of the speeds and forces involved,. Safety in aviation requires an understanding of the risks and deliberate actions to reduce their probability of occurrence.

The CAA monitors safety performance in line with worldwide practice by recording the number of accidents, and expressing those as a rate of accidents per flying hour. To account for inherent differences, the aviation  industry is divided into 13 sectors.  Even so, the accidents within a sector have many different causes, which are not always apparent when expressed as an aggregated accident rate.

A Sector Risk Profile is a way of examining the various underlying influences on safety within a given sector. By breaking the overall risk into specific risk statements, attention can be focused onto specific problems. For example, ‘reducing landing accidents’ is more easily addressed than, simply ‘reducing accidents’.

An important aspect of sector risk profiling is understanding that the participants within a sector are well placed to evaluate the risks they face. Accordingly the sector risk profiling method is based around capturing the knowledge, experience, and perceptions, of as many participants as possible from within the sector. The resulting mix of fact and opinion is combined with evidential data, such as industry studies and demographics, and expressed as set of risk statements that describe both the risk and the severity of its influence on safety. The risk severity is a combination of the consequence and its likelihood of occurrence, in accordance with risk management practice.

The resulting set of risk statements, including their relative severity, can be expressed as a profile that will vary from one industry sector to the next. A hazard may create a significant risk in one sector, but not another. For example, wires are a risk to agricultural operations but less so to airline operations. The ranking of risks as they occur in the sector of interest is what  makes it a sector risk profile.

How are Sector Risk Profiles Used?

There are several ways a sector risk profile can be used by industry participants and the CAA. Sector risk profiles help inform CAA where to target its actions and resources. However, some areas of risk may be beyond the effective influence of CAA. Some operational practices may carry risks that are highly dependent upon the actions of individual participants, organisations, or industry groups.

The greatest value of a sector risk profile is derived when participants read the statements, decide which ones apply to their organisation and then determine what they can do to minimise that risk. By addressing individual elements of risk within a sector, the overall accident rate and costs to the sector can be reduced.