What is the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)? The FAA developed the program to gather all kinds of maintenance information including data on aircraft systemic problems. Its fundamental aim is to improve safety.
The ASAP is based on the fact that when technicians self disclose an incident, it is non-punitive. It means the air carrier and the FAA can not come back at you for reporting your event. Without ASAP, as we all know, management generally responds to most safety-related incidents as disciplinary (punitive) events. ASAP encourages prompt reporting and taking action to prevent future incidents. A successful program is a win-win for Technicians and the Carrier.
There are significant exceptions to this non-punitive policy. They include, incidents that involve criminal activity, substance abuse, controlled substances, alcohol, intentional falsification, and an intentional disregard for safety. Keeping this in mind, we must all understand that the FAA will always retain the right to investigate outside of the program for the reasons just stated.
The following are some highlights of the ASAP:
Safety is improved for everyone, employee, company, and FAA.
The program is non-punitive
The program applies to all AMFA employees who perform, approve, or support maintenance on FAA certified products or components. (For example; SAMC Controllers at UAL
AMFA has a duly elected member for a two year period on the Event Review Committee (ERC). This member will have equal say along with the company and the FAA on the final outcome of the report.
A report will always be accepted into the program, except for the reasons stated earlier.
The carriers receive the same benefit from the FAA as the employee does.
The FAA receives information that they normally would never have gotten.
For example, the United Airlines Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which falls under the FAA Advisory Circular or AC 120.66b, states in item 11c how the Event Review Committee (ERC) process will work. Three types of reports will be submitted to the ERC. They are safety related reports that appear to involve a violation(s) of the regulations, reports that are of a general safety concern, but do not appear to involve a violation(s) of the regulations, and any other report that may impact safety. All safety-related reports shall be fully evaluated and, to the extent appropriate, investigated.
The Advisory Circular 120.66(a), (b) prompted AMFA and the different air carriers to discuss their safety reporting procedures and enter into the ASAP program. The different AMFA represented carriers that are currently participating in the ASAP are Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Untied Airlines. AMFA National is currently working with Mesaba Airlines and Horizon Air on entering the ASAP as well.
Technicians should also use an Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) or NASA form in conjunction with the ASAP report. You have 10 days after an incident to fill out a NASA form. A NASA form may be used to report other maintenance items as well. Part 13 of the FAR explains how to use a NASA form.
I hope that some of these highlights help with a better understanding of the ASAP and will help with a renewed support for the program.