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Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

Last updated: May 13, 2019

What Does Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) Mean?

The Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) is a U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) program designed to improve airline safety. The program is voluntary, and it is participated in by airlines and other aircraft operators covered under Part 121 of Part 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (the Federal Aviation Regulations).

ASAP participants agree to allow airline employees to submit anonymous reports of potential safety hazards without fear of reprimand or retaliation from their employer. In turn, the FAA agrees not to legally implicate the employee through any subsequent report made about the issue, meaning the reporting employee’s name is not mentioned in the report.

The scope of the individuals and cases covered by the program may vary depending on the carrier, as the details of participation in the program are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Agreements made between airlines and the FAA are formalized via a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the individual airline and the FAA.

Safeopedia Explains Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

Participation in the ASAP has raised the amount of safety issues reported to the FAA, which provides valuable data that the agency can use to better understand current safety risks faced by aircraft operators. Submitted safety reports do not necessarily refer to an unsafe practice occurring within the scope of the airline’s operations, and instead they may refer to an unstable landing caused by an unknown factor for the FAA to look into.

The first steps to participation in the ASAP involve the airline operator and the FAA agreeing on the scope of the program and the data collection methods that will be involved. After an agreement has been signed, airline employees will be trained in how to use the the system. Submitted reports are reviewed by an ASAP manager, who will send appropriate details to a multi-person “Event Review Committee” (ERC). ERCs consist of one stakeholder from each interest group, including the airline, the FAA, and potentially an employee interest group such as a Pilots Union.

The scope of the ASAP does not cover all safety violations. For instance, employees who intentionally disregard safety will be dismissed from the program, and the FAA will investigate and pursue legal action in cases where it believes that doing so is appropriate, such as when a criminal action has occurred. Although participation in the project centers around pilots, its scope has been expanded by some airlines to include maintenance personnel, flight attendants, and other workers.


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