The foundations for the investigation of aviation accidents were laid when the Chicago Convention was signed in 1944 by the member-states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Later, ICAO standardized the procedures for the investigation of aviation accidents and published Annex 13 of the Convention on “Aircraft Accident & Incident Investigation”.

The Chicago Convention was sanctioned by Greek legislation with law 211/1947.  Initially, investigations were carried out by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA).  The royal decree of 20.01.1956 “Regarding the Investigation of Accidents to Civil Aircraft” called for the formation of the Aircraft Accidents Inquiry Committee and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Council.  The Committee, consisting of HCAA staff members or officers of the Hellenic Royal Air Force (HRAF), carried out the investigation and wrote a report which it submitted to the HCAA.  The report was transmitted to the Council, a seven member group independent from the HCAA and the HRAF, which adjudicated about the causes and conditions under which the accident had occurred, about possible blame as well as the degree of responsibility of those involved.  The royal decree 377/28.06.1963, as it was modified by royal decree 233/1964, abolished the royal decree of 1956 and changed the name of the Council to “Aviation Accident Investigation Board”.  The royal decree 324/1968 abolished the above-mentioned royal decrees and defined the HCAA as solely responsible for the investigation, the determination of causes, and the publication of the final report, without making any mention of blame or responsibility.  In 1988, law 1815/1988 abolished royal decree 324 and appointed the HCAA responsible for the conduct of a sworn preliminary examination and the compilation of a report which it sent to an Aircraft Accidents Inquiry Committee that was to be founded based on the same law.  The seven member Inquiry Committee was finally founded in 1997 by presidential decree 55/97.  It was independent of the HCAA and, based on the findings of the preliminary examination, published a final report about the causes and the conditions under which the accident occurred.

In 1994 the European Council published the Council Directive 94/56/EC “establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents” which emphasized the need for the constitution of a body or entity for the investigation of aviation accidents “functionally independent in particular of the national aviation authorities responsible for airworthiness, certification, flight operation, maintenance, licensing, air traffic control, or airport operation and, in general, of any other party whose interests could conflict with the task entrusted to the investigating body or entity.”    Greek legislation was adapted to the Directive with law 2912/01 which established the Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board (AAIASB).  The Board is independent of the above-mentioned national aviation authorities. Today the new EU Regulation: 996/2010 has repealed the previous directive (94/56).

The AAIASB began its operations in February of 2002.

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