Complement: Proactive airline safety programs

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Aviation Safety Action Program

An Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) provides a mechanism for the observations of potential safety hazards by employees engaged in routine operations to filter up to decision-makers (FAA, 2002a). Designed to be non-punitive, robust protection mechanisms are built into the program to assure reporters are not penalized by reporting inadvertent errors. Every ASAP program is required to have some system to aggregate information extracted from reports and analyze that information to uncover trends.

Flight Operations Quality Assurance

 Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) is regarded as the most objective of the proactive safety programs, in that it collects data recorded by an aircraft’s flight data acquisition and recording systems and aggregates it into a database that incorporates a part or all of an airline’s fleet (FAA, 2004). Routine flight operations are then analyzed by sophisticated software that identifies exceedances and trends. Every approved program must demonstrate some means of using the intelligence gathered from this analysis in the mitigation of risk.

Internal Evaluation Program

 An Internal Evaluation Program (IEP) is an internal audit program that is required to possess two important characteristics (FAA, 2006a). First, there is strong encouragement for the IEP to adopt the same principles, and use the same checklists, that are a part of the FAA’s oversight system, ATOS. Some means of aggregate analysis must be defined, so that overall trends can be identified. Secondly, the IEP program must be independent of the departments it is charged with oversight of. IEPs must report directly to top management within the organization.

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