Journal of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Social Sciences Edition ›› 2021, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 139-146.DOI: 10.13766/j.bhsk.1008-2204.2019.0408

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Improving China's Civil Aircraft Accident Investigation Rules under “Just Culture”

HUANG Yuhui, ZHANG Xueying   

  1. School of International Law, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai 200042, China
  • Received:2019-11-28 Published:2021-04-02

Abstract: The establishment of "just culture" under the civil aircraft accident investigation system aims to achieve a proper balance between safety and accountability, under which civil aviation practitioners are encouraged to report their mistakes without the fear of being punished, so as to create a "safety culture" of free reporting and information sharing, and realize the objective of aircraft accident investigation and promote the aviation safety. This paper first starts with the origin of "just culture" and its application in the investigation of international civil aircraft accidents. Under the Chicago Convention and its Annex 13, State Parties need to apply "just culture" in their own aircraft accident investigation rules. After reviewing the problem of current rules of China's civil aircraft accident investigation, this paper suggests that with the application of "just culture", China's civil aircraft accident rules should preclude the accountability to achieve the objectivity of the investigation; should achieve the independency of investigation procedures through the independency of the investigators; should determine the use of information gathered in accident investigation through the establishment of a "balance test"; and should enact the regulations regarding the use of safety information and the adoption of the investigation final report as evidence in responsibility apportion procedures.

Key words: aircraft accident investigation, just culture, system safety, Chicago Convention, Annex 13, independent investigation

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