Flight operations oversight
Investigation proceduresTo investigate
an aviation violation, the background of the case must be carefully examined.
Information about the case is sought from many different sources. The
person concerned is also given an opportunity to be heard as
required by law.
Commencement of an
Investigation of an aviation violation may be
initiated for many different reasons. For example, findings made during an
inspection or notifications from private persons, air traffic control,
other authorities or aviators may result in an investigation.
units of the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority continuously oversee
aviation operations both regularly and on a case-by-case basis.
Information resulting in an investigation may come out during a routine
inspection. The Finnish Civil Aviation Authority also receives reports on
violations against regulations from general public and from other
authorities. Private persons usually report infringements of minimum
flight altitudes, and other authorities give notifications on flying
within restricted or danger areas. Moreover, occurrence reports from air
traffic control or police investigation material related to aviation
accidents may reveal issues that give rise to an investigation on whether
aviation regulations have been violated. Quite often an investigation is
started on the basis of information received from many different sources.
After an investigation has been commenced, the Finnsih Civil Aviation
Authority seeks to obtain as much information on the case as possible. The
material used to determine the course of events may be rather varied:
flight logs and journey log books, flight plans, licence and aircraft
register data, flight progress strips from ATC, weather information, mass
and fuel calculations, equipment manuals, reports from persons and
organisations associated with the events etc. The person who is suspected
of having violated against aviation regulations is also asked to give an
explanation on the issue, reporting what happened and why. The time limit
for providing an explanation is usually about two weeks.
of the person concernedThe
Administrative Procedure Act
(pdf, 434/2003) requires that the person
concerned must be heard before making a decision which may affect the
person’s rights, interests and obligations. The hearing letter states
those items of regulations that the person is suspected of having
violated, explains the sanctions that may be imposed and provides him/her
an opportunity to present any issues that should be considered before the
decision is made. The person concerned then responds by a similar letter
as to the request for explanation, within a fixed time. However, the
authority may decide on the issue even without a reply, after the time
limit has expired. The documents concerning the hearing are delivered by
mail with an advice of receipt. When collecting the documents, the
recipient must prove his/her identity. The post office will inform the
Finnsih Civil Aviation Authority when the letter has been collected.
a general rule, replies to the requests for explanation and hearing
letters must be sent to the Finnsih Civil Aviation Authority as a signed
paper copy. However, in some cases explanations given on the telephone are
considered sufficient, and e-mail messages have also been accepted.