April 15, 2021

A single authority will investigate accidents in public infrastructure | Economy

A single authority will investigate accidents in public infrastructure | Economy



The report was commissioned by Fomento to respond to a series of circumstances: the accident of the viaduct of Genoa; the numerous floods of autumn that caused significant damage to the infrastructure of state competition; the existence of two commissions of inquiry in Congress, on the Spanair accidents of 2008 (air) and of Angrois of 2013 (railway); questioning at European level the Spanish railway safety system and the new challenges of cybersecurity, security against illicit acts and climate change.

The document includes a proposal to change the legal framework of the air and rail security agencies, to adapt to European requirements and to respond appropriately to the security challenges of the sector. The European Commission announced on January 24 the opening of a formal infringement procedure to Spain por not comply with the Community directives on railway safety. Although the community executive does not doubt that the system is safe, considers that the working methods of public agencies that deal with both the inspection of accidents.

In response, Fomento proposes that the Commission of Investigation of Accidents and Incidents of Civil Aviation (CIAIAC), the Commission of Investigation of Railway Accidents (CIAF) and the Permanent Commission of Investigation of accidents and maritime incidents (CIAIM) be integrated into a single independent administrative authority that assumes the technical investigation of accidents in all modes of transport. Both the funds and the officials of the three current commissions will depend on this authority.

In the area of ​​national security, the report includes the creation of the cybersecurity policy coordinator and critical infrastructure, whose operation is essential and does not allow for alternative solutions, so that its disruption or destruction would have a serious impact on the essential services.

In air control, it recognizes that safety is paramount when overcoming two million flights a year and, therefore, calls for improvements in technological modernization, adverse weather and deepening the preventive focus of both wildlife and drones. In airports, it is proposed to perform periodic audits of the pavement condition and the beaconing of the flight field and the standardization of maintenance services.

Railroad network

In the railway network are detected as areas of improvement, auscultation of the network to determine its level of quality; the inspection and maintenance of tunnels and bridges and the suppression of level crossings and between platforms. Likewise, in order to preserve security against unlawful acts, the implementation of active image analysis systems for the early response to security incidents and forensic analysis thereof, and the development of detection and response to cyber incidents is proposed.

The report also pursues, among other objectives, a Strategic Railway Safety Plan; the reinforcement of the maintenance of the conventional rail network; the massive introduction of technology (both operational security and security against illicit acts) and the budgetary reorientation towards the strengthening of maintenance and security.

Affected by the weather

One of the novelties reflected in the report is that, for the first time, during 2018, an exercise was carried out to identify those sections of the State Roads Network and the Railway Network of General Interest potentially more exposed due to their vulnerability in the face of climate variability and change. The report concludes that 33% of the length of the road network is very or commonly affected by meteorology and 34% of the high capacity network.

The current impact in the case of the rail network is 64% and 80% in the case of the High Speed ​​network, due in the latter case to the incidence of heavy rains on the slopes and the track ballast.

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