Concorde verdict – would European Aviation court do better?

Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive for Aviation and Human Factors

The recent ruling in a Paris court that Continental Airlines was responsible for the Concorde crash some 10 years ago has caused considerable controversy, with opinion divided along national lines.

Would it be a good idea to establish a European Aviation Court to rule on such kinds of aviation accidents?

Such a court could provide the consistent and impartial perspective that is needed, and be free from claims of national bias.

Ashgate authors Sofia Michaelides-Mateou and Andreas Mateou came to a similar conclusion in their new book Flying in the Face of Criminalization; The Safety Implications of Prosecuting Professionals for Accidents. (Full information and sample pages are available on our website.)

The book highlights the inconsistencies and shortcomings that currently impair air accident investigations and the resulting judicial enquiries.

Flying in the Face of Criminalization


‘This is one of the most important books on aviation safety to appear in at least a decade. Criminalizing human error is a growing safety problem in aviation as well as other industries. Sofia Michaelides-Mateou and Andreas Mateou have not only compiled an accessible and complete corpus of cases and arguments, but also given us a delightful, swift read. The book is necessary and timely. And it is utterly persuasive.’
Sidney Dekker, School of Aviation, Lund University, Sweden

‘The criminalization of aircraft accidents threatens to destroy the trust which has allowed accident investigators to identify systemic causes and make aviation as safe as it is. This book is an especially timely one, written from the unique perspectives of operating pilot and lawyer and bringing together many relevant cases. It makes compelling reading for accident investigators, safety managers, lawyers and legislators alike.’
Graham Braithwaite, Cranfield University, UK

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