Air accident investigation has a long tradition, which was given an international basis with the signing of the Agreement on International Civil Aviation in Chicago in 1944. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which it established, has issued annexes to the agreement and Annex 13 sets out the international procedure for the investigation of air accidents (ICAO). These provisions were enacted in national legislation, principally through the Luftfahrtgesetz (Air Transport Act).
When Austria joined the European Union, the substantially more detailed procedures applying in Europe also had to be reflected.
Since 1999, the legal basis in Austria has been the Air Accident Investigation Act (FlUG1999). This Act is repealed as of 1.1.2006 by the new Accident Investigation Act (BGBl. (Federal Law Gazette) I No.123/2005 ). This sets out which accidents or operational failures in civil aviation are to be investigated, who conducts the investigation, what powers the investigators have, through to the dispatch of the report.