More navigation errors in Latvia's civil aviation in 2020, says agency

Flight Safety Report for 2020 published by the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) August 11 states that the number of occurrences potentially linked to insufficient flying experience has increased last year.

The structure of civil aviation safety risks in general changed in Latvia last year due to the reduced number of flights linked with the pandemic. The largest number of occurrences were reported in the category 'other', which are different occurrences related to workload, dangerous cargo and other unclassified events.

In 2020, the number of occurrences caused by navigational errors in civil aviation increased, becoming the second most frequent category. CAA says that these errors are caused by flight crews having insufficient practice, leading to more frequent errors in navigation. In 2019, 81 occurrences related to a navigation error were reported, while 82 such occurrences were reported last year, despite the fact that the total number of flights at Riga in 2020 (35,591 flights) was significantly lower compared to 2019 (87,007 flights).

The third most frequent occurrence category was bird strikes.

There were no accidents in Latvian commercial aviation in 2020 but one 'serious incident' occurred. No accidents and three serious incidents occurred in general aviation. Serious incidents, according to the report, are stopping or not starting of the engine or stopping of the aircraft, with minor or no damage to the aircraft and people.

Incidents related to unmanned aircraft flying dangerously close to civil aircraft have also increased slightly in 2020. Four such occurrences were reported last year, while three occurrences occurred in 2019. In order to avoid a rapid increase in such cases, the CAA will introduce a single management and monitoring system for drones in Latvia in the next two years.

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