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Safety and standards

Safety culture is at the core

Safety is the basis of everything we do. It is our guiding principle that all employees -- not just the crew on board the aircraft -- must be focused on how their work affects the safety of flying.

Safety culture serves as the foundation for numerous standards and regulations determining the organisation of the company, operating procedures and flight safety. Every airline operates in accordance with the laws of its country, but it must also operate in accordance with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Community.

We are a holder of the IOSA safety certificate

Adria Airways was among the first airlines in the world to receive the IOSA safety certificate (IATA Operational Safety Audit), a derivative of all technical regulations, and the ISO standards certificate, which define the quality of corporate governance.

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The safety team is of vital importance

Every airline has a team that is specifically responsible for safety. Smaller airlines usually only have one person in this role. Adria Airways, despite belonging in this category, has a dedicated team of four pilots responsible for making recommendations and submitting requests to the company's management.

Achieving results through anonymity

One of the tasks of our safety team is to monitor the system for reporting unexpected and unwanted events. The procedure is very simple and based on anonymity.

  • If the pilot or anyone else from the crew commits a professional error, they must write a report on the conditions under which the error was made and explain its possible cause. The airline guarantees them that they will not be subjected to disciplinary sanctions because of it. In this way we encourage real error reporting.
  • Based on such reports by crews, the safety team makes recommendations for changes and submits them to the company's management. Aircraft maintenance personnel employ a similar system.
  • The airline must also report certain events such as engine failure, which are specified in European provisions, to the civil aviation administration.
  • An event is an incident that could affect safety in certain circumstances and for which the crew must therefore be prepared.

Flight data monitoring system

One of the members of the group also deals with the flight data monitoring system. This system is very similar to the black box as it records approximately 150 different types of data during a flight. After each flight an expert processes this data electronically and looks for discrepancies. If they find, for example, that pilots are landing with greater or smaller speed than recommended, they will write a recommendation for the immediate training of all crews.

We are aware that every detail ensuring the safe landing of an aircraft is important in our work.

Frequent crew training

For two days every six months pilots use flight simulators to practise numerous emergency procedures such as those in the event of engine failure, engine fire, cabin smoke, and loss of cabin pressure. In addition, at least once a year they must also undergo so-called Line Oriented Flight Training, where they perform a one-hour simulated flight from preparation to landing.

Similar to flights

Simulated flights are performed in a way that makes them as similar as possible to real flights, including specific malfunctions or other problems. The instructor may play the role of an air traffic controller, a flight attendant or a mechanic. A completed exercise is followed by a video analysis, where the pilots, together with the instructor, carefully evaluate their actions. In these exercises they must also achieve a standard that permits them to renew their licence.

Flight attendants also undergo regular inspections and supplementary training. They practise evacuating the aircraft in an emergency, extinguishing cabin fires, etc.

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Triple components for your safety

An aircraft is made up of thousands of components, and they are all doubled or even tripled for safety reasons. That is why an aircraft can keep flying safely to its destination after the failure of one or even two components.

Elimination of faults

If the pilot finds that something on the aircraft is not functioning as it should, they must enter the error in the technical log. Once the plane has landed, the mechanic will immediately repair the malfunction and confirm this in writing. Of course, in the event of a major aircraft malfunction such as engine failure in flight, pilots must land the plane at the nearest airport, although the law allows them to fly for at least another hour. The pilot can therefore continue flying safely, but they must not take off again until the problem has been resolved. The procedures for replacing and checking components are set down by the manufacturer, which must also be approved by the civil aviation administration.

An aircraft can take off safely even in the case of a malfunctioning engine, but this is only permitted when take-off can no longer be aborted.

Sometimes an aircraft may return to a parking position once it has already prepared for take-off. Pilots may detect a malfunction in a component when conducting pre-flight checks, and although in some cases take-off may be allowed, they prefer to have the malfunction remedied as soon as possible. In most cases, however, take-off is not allowed, even if the aircraft could fly normally.

Passengers sometimes say that a plane has broken down. Planes never break down.

How dangerous is the crowded sky?

Air traffic is becoming increasingly heavy, but at the same time the technology ensuring flight safety is also becoming more sophisticated. The altitude difference between aircraft in air corridors at altitudes above 8800 m has recently been reduced to 300 m. However, this is the distance that has always been used at lower altitudes.

Better aircraft equipment, improved altimeters and special procedures for using smaller altitude differences between aircraft have made this change possible. Another achievement in recent years has been a system for warning of possible collisions in the air, which also provides pilots with instructions on how to avoid a collision.

Another achievement in recent years has been a system for warning of possible collisions in the air, which also provides pilots with instructions on how to avoid a collision.

The human factor remains the most important one

Concern for safety in the aviation world increases every year. The development of new equipment is making great headway. The system for warning of possible collisions in the air or on the ground and the navigation of aircraft have improved greatly, so that planes can now land in fog conditions when visibility is only 75 m.

Aviation professionals do not forget that the human factor is still the most important one. Over the past 20 years experts have been rapidly developing the concept of human resources management in the cockpit, as joint work in the cockpit is sometimes of crucial importance.

In addition to collaborating in the cockpit, pilots also practise making decisions and weighing the facts before making a final decision. Pilots adhere to the rule that the safer choice should always be made when in doubt.

Limited crew working hours

Crew working hours are strictly defined and regulated by statute. The law sets down daily, weekly and even monthly limits. Working hours are specified by international conventions and all airlines must comply with them.

Can any pilot land at any airport?

It makes no difference to pilots what airport they land at, since the same level of safety is provided everywhere, although some airports have certain limitations.

If, for example, an airport is known for its strong winds, then the airline may decide that its planes should land there only when the wind does not exceed a certain speed. Of course, such airports require special attention and preparation. Only pilots with previous special training may fly to certain airports.

A large percentage of accidents have occurred when the co-pilot knew that something was very wrong, but was unable to warn the pilot or the pilot did not even listen to him.

Aircraft maintenance for a safe flight

The maintenance personnel of Adria Tehnika inspect and service every Adria Airways aircraft after landing. When faults are detected in individual systems, they act in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer of the aircraft. Maintenance personnel work in three shifts and are available 24 hours a day. At its home airport in Ljubljana, Adria has two heated hangars, with all the necessary workshops and storage facilities..

The aircraft maintenance system, which defines in detail the methods and frequency of maintenance of all aircraft systems is set down by aircraft manufacturers. There are several types of aircraft inspections:

Daily inspections

During a daily inspection, maintenance personnel conduct a general visual inspection of the aircraft in order to detect any physical damage to its vital parts, check and, when necessary, top up fluid levels, check the condition of emergency equipment and the state of the passenger cabin and check tyre pressures.

During a daily inspection, they eliminate any faults in the aircraft’s systems that would prevent the aircraft from taking off from the home airport the next day. Before each flight, the pilot also checks the operation of all systems, especially the control panel. The pilot pays particular attention to the engines.

Technical personnel on the ground constantly monitor the proper functioning of the engines and make decisions about when an engine must be removed from the aircraft for inspection or repair.

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Weekly inspections

Every week, an aircraft undergoes a more detailed inspection, when maintenance personnel further inspect and check all the systems: from control systems to safety systems such as all on-board fire-extinguishing systems.

A inspections

The first more comprehensive periodic maintenance inspection, the so-called A inspection, must be carried out after every 500 to 600 hours of flight time, which is, on average, every 45 days. At this time maintenance personnel change filters and inspect and test the aircraft’s vital systems and engines very carefully.

Thanks to their equipment, training and experience, the technical personnel of Adria Tehnika are capable of carrying out a very stringent and thorough inspection of the aircraft after five years. At this time, in addition to checking the operation of all systems, a very precise inspection of the structure of the aircraft is performed in order to detect any damage, cracks or corrosion on the fuselage. During this inspection, special attention is paid to the general cleanliness and corrosion protection of the aircraft’s structure, which forms the basis for the long working life of the aircraft.

Once a year, maintenance personnel carefully inspect the supporting structure of the aircraft, all of its systems and, of course, the engine.

General overhaul

The general overhaul of the aircraft, which takes place every 10 years, is performed by a large authorised service centre. At this time the entire aircraft is overhauled, which in the case of Airbus A 320 takes six weeks, or 25,000 man hours.

As a result of such thorough maintenance, up to 99.5% of Adria Airways flights take place without any delays caused by breakdowns or malfunction, which puts us at the very top in global terms as regards reliability.

In recognition of its high-quality aircraft maintenance and the conformity of both its organisation and its overall aircraft maintenance system with recommendations and standards in force in the EU, Adria Tehnika has been awarded the EU JAR 145 certificate, which allows it to offer aircraft maintenance services to other carriers. In 2004 Adria Tehnika was among the first 12 companies worldwide to obtain the IOSA safety certificate.

In 2004, Adria Tehnika was one of the first twelve companies worldwide to obtain the IOSA safety certificate.