This is a critique of ESARR4 and its main supporting documents. ESARR4 is the Eurocontrol Safety Regulatory Requirement Number 4 [Eurocontrol safety regulatory requirement ESARR4, Edition 1.0., Eurocontrol, Safety Regulation Commission, Brussels, 2001]: ‘Risk assessment and mitigation in ATM’, ATM standing for Air Traffic Management. It is demonstrated that ESARR4 and its supporting documents are defective. There is a lack of clarity about responsibilities for ATM safety. The claims ESARR4 etc. make for its proposed methodologies are overstated—not supported by sound evidence from real world hazard analysis. Serious negative effects from this defective document include mis-allocation of scarce safety resources and the diversion of attention away from real safety improvements—wasteful of regulators’ and managers’ time. Suggestions are made for repairing these deficiencies. The most important underlying change would be a refocusing on practical safety assessment based on methods that have already demonstrated their merits.
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