Flight safety, our number one priority


In terms of flight safety, Air France-KLM complies in full with extremely exacting standards and the highest level of air transport industry regulations: at global level, with IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), at European level with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and nationally with the DGAC in France (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile). Furthermore, the Group complies with the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit), a global evaluation guaranteeing high safety standards.

Well beyond the regulatory standards stipulated at international, European and national level, Air France-KLM places flight safety at the heart of its corporate culture and systematically reaffirms safety as an absolute imperative. This corporate culture is the result of a commitment from all the players across the company: in flight, with the pilots, stewards and air hostesses, but also on the ground in the hangars and maintenance workshops, the cargo hangars, at every outstation and on the runway. This commitment from all the Group’s employees is also shared by every Executive Committee member within Air France-KLM.

Detecting every factor of risk

A cornerstone of the contract between airlines and their customers, flight safety occupies a primordial place within the Group’s operations. Air France- KLM makes an on-going investment in this area to ensure ever-higher standards, an ambition which is supported by the application of safety best practices via a Safety Management System (SMS) and a working environment which is focused on continuous learning and progress.

Air France-KLM adapts its flight safety procedures to ensure the most effective response to new threats potentially emerging in the air transport industry (presence on board of lithium batteries, growth of the drone industry, etc.). As a result, flight safety procedures are reinforced on a day-to-day basis with the deployment of the SMS in all the Air France-KLM entities. Thanks to the tools and methods contributed by this system, the Group is able systematically to identify potential threats, hazards and at-risk situations, enabling pro-active risk management. The SMS thus supplements the traditional methods used to detect any non- respect of regulatory standards and the analysis of individual incidents.

To further improve this approach, a new risk analysis and threat detection method and risk model is currently being developed. It will enable the combination and visualization of information con- tributed by the employee, audit and electronic flight analysis reports to represent the risks. These risk model diagrams, which are shaped like a bow tie, are the central component of the new working methodology for the risk analysis teams and managers, ensuring a continuous improvement in the robustness of the operating procedures. The required measures can then be implemented more precisely and efficiently. This “bow tie” analysis methodology is progressively becoming a reference model for Safety Management Systems in the air transport industry.

The safety of Air France-KLM’s flight operations depends not only on the effectiveness of the SMS, but also on a positive safety-first culture, which encourages staff to improve their safety perfor- mance. Across the Group the “Safety Culture Program” enables employees and sub-contractors to benefit from a wide range of training courses and communication on this subject, and is under- pinned by the principles enshrined in the Group’s safety policy. Air France-KLM aims to achieve a continuous risk and performance-based improvement in its industry-leading flight safety management system, which enables risk-focused decisions to be taken at every level of the Group.

Permanent contact with every aircraft

The Group is multiplying initiatives on the in-flight position reporting of its aircraft. Air France- KLM is represented in the “Aircraft Tracking” working group, spearheaded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and intends to be a key contributor to this project. Under the control of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), this working group is responsible for submitting proposed long-term solutions which are harmonized between governments on the real-time mon- itoring of commercial passenger and cargo aircraft trajectories.

Since 2010, Air France then KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have implemented a particularly high performance tracking system for their aircraft. The aircraft’s precise position is transmitted every ten minutes to the airline’s operational control center (twenty minutes on average for the air transport industry).

In the event of any divergence relative to the planned flight path, the interval for the automated reporting of the aircraft’s position is reduced from ten minutes to one minute. Furthermore, in line with the recommendations of the French authority responsible for safety investi- gations into accidents or incidents in civil aviation (BEA), the Air France fleet is now equipped with ULB (Underwater Locator Beacon) flight recorders (more commonly known as “black boxes”) with 90 days of autonomy (as opposed to the 30 regulatory days) during which aircraft can be located at any time worlwide in the event of immersion. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is currently looking into the installation of similar equipment on its fleet.