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History of HARSIA

The signing of the Chicago Convention in 1944 by the member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) laid the foundations for the investigation of air accidents. ICAO subsequently standardized the procedures for the investigation of aircraft accidents and issued Annex 13 of the Convention (Annex 13: “Aircraft Accident & Incident Investigation”).

The Chicago Convention was ratified and included in Greek legislation with Law 211/1947. Initially, the investigations were carried out by the Civil Aviation Service (CAA). After the b.d. of 20.01.1956 “Regarding the Investigation of Civil Aircraft Accidents” the “Air Accident Investigation Committee” (AEAA) and the “Air Accident Investigation Board” (SEAA) were established. The AEAA was made up of employees of the CAA or officers of the Royal Hellenic Air Force (RAH) carried out the investigation and drew up a conclusion which it submitted to the Civil Aviation Service.The conclusion was forwarded to the SEAA, which was a seven-member body independent from the CAA and the EBA and made a reasoned decision on the causes and conditions under which the accident occurred, on any existing culpability as well as on the degree of responsibility of those at fault. The b.d. 377/28.06.1963 as amended by the n.d. 233/1964 repealed the above-mentioned b.d. of 1956 renaming the AEAA to the “Committee for the Investigation of Air Accidents” (EDAA). The b.d. 324/1968 repealed the above-mentioned b.d. and designated the CAA as the sole responsible for the investigation, the determination of the causes and the issuance of a conclusion, without however referring to culpability and responsibility. In 1988, Law 1815/1988 abolished the b.d. 324 and designated the CAA responsible for conducting a sworn preliminary investigation and drawing up a report which it sent to an Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAAA) that would be established under the same law. The ASAA was finally founded in 1997 with the p.d. 55/97, was a seven-member independent from the CAA and based on the preliminary investigation data, issued a conclusion on the causes and conditions under which the accident occurred.

In 1994 the European Community issued Directive 94/56 on the “Establishment of the Basic Principles Governing the Investigation of Civil Aviation Accidents and Incidents”, which emphasizes the need to establish an air accident investigation agency or body “functionally independent of national aviation authorities those responsible for navigation, certification, flight operations, maintenance, licensing, air traffic control or airport operation and in general by any third party whose interests could conflict with the task assigned to the organization or body in question’. The Greek legislation was adapted to the Directive with Law 2912/01 on the basis of which the Air Accidents & Flight Safety Investigation Committee (EDAAP) was established which is independent from the above mentioned national aviation authorities. Today the New Regulation of the European Union is in force: 996/2010 which repeals the previous directive (94/56).