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Safety Information...

it has now become much simpler for business aviation operators of any size to participate in airline-quality safety information
sharing programs.
Although some large Part 135 operators
have their own ASAP programs, smaller
charter or fractional operators find the
infrastructure and resources required
to create and maintain one to be excessive. For instance, the operator must first
engage the FAA to develop a memorandum
of understanding (MOU) to establish the
program, develop a method of accepting
reports, and organize an event review committee (ERC) to periodically analyze the
submitted reports.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation
(ACSF) has developed an ASAP program
that addresses each of these challenges
and provides a venue for smaller operators to share safety-related information.
The program, modeled after the Medallion
Foundation’s program for Part 135 operators in Alaska, was established in August
2012 with the Minneapolis–St. Paul FSDO.
It is currently available only within the Great
Lakes region; however the ACSF expects
the program to expand to the Eastern and
Western-Pacific regions soon.
Operators in the ACSF ASAP program
have a MOU between the operator, the
ACSF, and the FAA, and agree that in
exchange for the protections afforded by
the ASAP program, the operator will make
de-identified safety data available to other
program operators. Reports submitted by
the employees of the operator are accepted
and securely stored by the ACSF.
The ACSF also organizes the ERC on
behalf of the operator and serves as a
neutral third party to ensure that the terms
of the MOU are adhered to during the meeting. While a major airline ERC might meet
2

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weekly, an ERC for ACSF ASAP operators
typically meets every six weeks to discuss
recently submitted reports, and is attended
by representatives of the company and
the FAA. The goal of the ERC meetings is
to determine the root cause of an event,
rather than to assign blame. The ERC also
conducts annual reviews of submitted
reports to determine whether corrective
actions have been effective in preventing
similar occurrences.
Although ASAP was developed for certificate-holding operators, some large Part 91
operators, such as Boeing, have developed
their own MOUs with the FAA. Part 91 operators cannot currently participate in the ACSF
ASAP program, but discussions are underway with the FAA about supporting these
operators in the future. However, ASAP protection is extended to operations conducted
under FAR Part 91 by a crew employed and
trained by a certificate holder, such as flying
a managed aircraft for its owner.
Russ Lawton, ACSF ASAP Program
Manager, calls the program “a huge step
forward in how we look at safety.” He says
that business aviation operators have often
learned about safety issues only after an
incident, but access to a non-punitive ASAP
program allows operators to learn from
“near misses.” Operators with an ASAP
program in place have much more data to
draw upon than through non-ASAP voluntary reporting systems, in which the protection of the reporter is not assured. Results
of the analysis of this data can then be
incorporated into recurrent training and
used to refine operating procedures.
The ACSF ASAP program makes ASAP a
realistic possibility for smaller operators,
but there is still a need for active participation and FAA involvement. For operators
which desire a less demanding system,

or who cannot currently participate in the
ACSF ASAP program, another information
sharing program is included in the ARGUS
PRISM Safety Management System (SMS)
program. PRISM SMS is partnered with
USAIG and is a component of the USAIG
Performance Vector initiative.
PRISM SMS includes a hazard reporting system that collects, de-identifies,
and stores safety related reports from
crews. Although no immunity is provided
through this system, summarized reports
are made available in de-identified form
to program participants for analysis.
The system currently processes approximately 1,100 reports per year, according
to Steve Witowski, Vice President with
PRISM.
Similar to ASAP, FOQA programs have
often been difficult to integrate into
smaller flight departments. Joe Weber with
Austin Digital, a FOQA provider for several
major airlines, says that one of the main
problems with traditional FOQA programs
at small flight departments is that it is
difficult to derive statistically significant
data from the relatively small number of
flight operations as compared to those of
a large Part 121 operator.
The solution, Weber says, is to aggregate the flight data to a larger dataset
consisting of data from many small flight
departments. This has become known as
C-FOQA (Corporate FOQA). Austin Digital’s
C-FOQA Centerline program is a pioneer
in making flight data monitoring practical
for corporate aviation. The program makes
anonymized safety information available
for analysis by all program participants and
provides each participant with individualized flight operation trend analysis.
Flight data is typically recorded by an
ARINC 717 compatible Quick Access
Recorder (QAR), manually downloaded, automatically anonymized, and then transmitted
to the program on a monthly basis. As with
major airlines, each participant must nominate a gatekeeper, who serves as the interface between the operator and the FOQA
program, and is the only person capable of
connecting flight data back to an individual
crewmember.
Austin Digital provides the technical support and oversight of the program by ensuring data quality and uniform reporting stan-



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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013

Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013
Contents
Emergency Response Plan: Navigating the Aftermath
ASI Message: Chilling Facts
Flight Vis: Good Leadership, Trust, and SMS Buy-In
SMS Corner: Insights from Dr. Tony Kern
Announcing Performance Vector Plus by USAIG
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - Contents
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - 2
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - 3
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - Emergency Response Plan: Navigating the Aftermath
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - ASI Message: Chilling Facts
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - Flight Vis: Good Leadership, Trust, and SMS Buy-In
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - SMS Corner: Insights from Dr. Tony Kern
Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - Announcing Performance Vector Plus by USAIG
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