Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013 - 3

Safety Information...
dards, but any data interpretation or safety
recommendations are left to the individual
operator. Program participants receive single
flight event reporting on demand, quarterly
trend analysis, as well as annual trend comparison of the operator to the average of all
program participants.
Safety programs are valuable to the individual operator by allowing management to
understand what’s really happening on the
line, and to revise procedures as needed.
When that data is then shared among several
operators, everyone benefits by understanding
safety issues affecting the industry as a whole.
Although the ACSF ASAP program, PRISM
SMS reporting system, and C-FOQA Centerline
program all aggregate data, historically safety
program data from major airlines has remained
proprietary to the individual operators.

(continued from page 2)

However, in 2007 the FAA established
the Aviation Safety Information Analysis
and Sharing (ASIAS) system, which serves
as a central repository for safety information received from program members. Data
transmitted to the system can include ASAP
reports and FOQA data, among other SMS
artifacts. This data is then made available to
all members for analysis. Current members
include many major Part 121 air carriers, government flight departments, industry representatives, and a growing number of business
aviation flight departments. The future looks
promising for the sharing of safety information
among operators of business aircraft.
Lee Smith is an ATP and CFII rated pilot with
a background in corporate and Part 135
operations.

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ASAP and Airline Information Sharing
BY CHIP WRIGHT

When it comes to the marketplace, airlines
are as competitive in their fight for customers as Coke and Pepsi. But when it comes to
safety, the barriers come down. The majority
of airlines in the United States participate in
an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), in
which pilots can disclose mistakes and safety
concerns with no fear of repercussion. Similar
programs exist for dispatchers, mechanics,
and air traffic controllers.
The power of the ASAP program comes
from the fact that pilots are openly encouraged to disclose errors or procedural violations that might occur during a trip. While the
specifics of the program at each carrier may
differ, the crux of it is this: The pilots report
the event or safety concern, and the report
is then viewed by a committee that is made
up of one representative each from management, the FAA, and the pilot group (if the pilot
group is unionized, it will be a union representative). The event is studied and reviewed,
and if the committee feels that it is in the
best interest of the pilot or crew to undergo
training or a review of the FDR data—or even a
line flight under the supervision of a check airman—then they can make that happen. There
is no training record produced, so the pilot has
nothing to worry about as far as PRIA records
go. (PRIA, or the Pilot Records Improvement
Act, requires that FAR parts 121 and 135 air

carriers and FAR Part 125 operators, request,
receive, and evaluate certain information concerning a pilot applicant’s training, experience,
qualification, and safety background.)
Most of the time, the pilot never hears anything other than, “Thanks for participating.”
The only time a pilot’s report is rejected
is if the pilot is deemed to have deliberately
violated a FAR or company policy; this can
produce a Letter of Warning that will remain
in the pilot’s airman file for up to two years. In
worst-case scenarios, further action may be
taken by the FAA, but only under extremely
limited conditions.
Airlines collate the data, and look for trends
over a period of time; their pilot group is made
aware of the various trends that are occurring, and if necessary, training scripts are
rewritten. A good example might be a challenging approach or departure that is causing
a number of deviations. Data from ASAP can
be used to tailor simulator events and ground
school modules to address the problem and
get it corrected.
On a regular basis, airlines can—and do—
share certain data. In fact, it’s common for
major airlines and regional airline partners to
do this, but it’s not unusual for direct competitors to work together to improve safety across
the board. This has occurred with approach
and departure issues as well as with matters

that are common to a particular fleet type.
Similar exchanges take place with manufacturers as the third party.
Not to be forgotten are the various pilot
unions. They all have well-established and
well-respected safety departments, and they
frequently share information not only with
each other, but with the airlines. Pilots may
be more comfortable disclosing information
to another pilot, and their union can ensure
de-identification occurs before the information is shared.
The other major airline safety program in
use is Line Oriented Safety Audit (LOSA). With
a LOSA program, the union downloads data
from the digital flight data recorder (DFDR),
removes all identifying information, and looks
for potential safety concerns. This data is then
shared with the airline and the FAA. Once
collated and catalogued, it can be shared
with other carriers. The pilot never knows if
his flight(s) is/are included in any study. The
advantage of LOSA over ASAP is that every
flight can be captured, and the crew does not
have to file an ASAP report. The disadvantage
is that if a crew does something wrong, there
is no means to impose discipline or training on
an individual crew.
Chip Wright is a CFI, ATP, and a Canadair
Regional Jet captain for Comair.

3


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Premium On Safety - Issue 12, 2013

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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