ICAO: Flight Safety Information Exchange (FSIX)

What is FSIX?

In March 2006, an extraordinary meeting occurred at the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Montreal headquarters, in which Directors General from 153 of ICAO's 189 contracting states agreed that, by 23 March 2008, the names of all member states that did not agree to full transparency for the results of the organisation's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) review of their national aviation system would be posted on the ICAO website.

This agreement was initiated in order to attempt to introduce some public accountability into the commercial aviation industry. Historically, airlines could effectively sweep specific data concerned with accidents and incidents under the carpet, hiding information from the public and making it very difficult to obtain an empirical or objective overview of an airline's performance and safety record.

To this end, Contracting States were encouraged to provide ICAO their consent to publish safety oversight audit information consisting at a minimum, of States' compliance levels relative to the eight critical elements of a safety oversight system. While some States have given ICAO authority to disclose an executive summary and critical element graph, others have agreed to the release of the audit summary report in its entirety. As an example, here are New Zealand's Executive Summary, Audit Summary Report (initial) and Audit Summary Report (follow-up). New Zealand signed on as a consenting State on 15 March 2006.

In order to increase pressure in advance of the deadline, countries that were happy for their results to be published were encouraged to do so, and around 100 initially chose this course of action, thereby calling into question the credibility of airlines which delayed making their results transparent. There are currently 161 states party to the agreement, whose data may be viewed on ICAO's site.

Accessing the Information

The information is accessed via the ICAO website, and provides access to all of the 161 consenting states. This link shows New Zealand's Safety Oversight Audit Results for the period 14-24 March 2006. The matrix shows that all critical elements are almost fully implemented, and that New Zealand is ahead of the Global Average.

Consenting States

States which have agreed to release information to the ICAO for inclusion on the FSIX website are grouped into COSCAPs (Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programmes). These are based on region (Latin America, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Black Sea and Caspian Region, and are further broken into organisations of specific responsibility. For example, COSCAP-BANJUL Accord Group, based in Nigeria, is responsible for “resolving regional safety oversight issues and harmonization of regulations”. The contributing states are Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.


The FSIX library contains, among other items, templates, manuals and articles in various languages, specific to the practical aspects of aviation safety, from Aerodrome design and operation, to operations in RVSM airspace, to the ICAO Annex 13: Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation

1. Flight International (09/09/09). The net tightens. Flightglobal.com, 18/07/06.
2. ICAO (09/09/09). FSIX Home icao.int/fsix, 1995-2008.
2. ICAO (28/09/09). Eight Critical Element of a safety oversight system. Critical Elements, 1999-2004.
2. ICAO (28/09/09). Library Library

Want to know more?

ICAO's FSIX page offers plenty more information and reports. The site is optimized for Windows Internet Explorer and is difficult to view with other browsers.

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