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Monday, January 19, 2009

AA, FAs Institute ASAP Program

Even as it has suspended its Aviation Safety Action Program for pilots, American Airlines reached agreement with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for flight attendants to implement an ASAP program. American is one of a handful of airlines that have pulled out of pilot ASAP as pilots allege that the major carrier uses it punitively rather than as it is intended and a no-fault way to improve safety.
The new flight attendant program encourages flight attendants to voluntarily report safety-related information. The reports will help identify potential precursors to serious safety incidents. The flight attendants' ASAP at American Airlines is now the single largest ASAP in the world by virtue of American's more than 18,000 flight attendants. The information gathered in the ASAP reports will be analyzed jointly by American, APFA, and the FAA in order to develop and implement effective solutions to possible safety concerns. Addressing prospective safety concerns is essential to reducing future accidents and incidents.
ASAP is designed for flight attendants to report safety related-issues through a non-punitive reporting process. Participation in ASAP is voluntary and confidential. A "sole source report" (an event that has been reported by the flight attendant only) that has been accepted into the program will not be used to initiate or support any FAA or company disciplinary action, nor will the event be the basis for any FAA or company disciplinary action. The program allows a flight attendant to report an event or incident that may otherwise go unreported.
Flight attendant ASAP at American also embraces the "Just Culture" philosophy and process. The Just Culture model establishes a defined, objective process to evaluate incidents and events to determine if reports should be accepted into the ASAP program. The Just Culture philosophy has taken hold within the U.S. airline industry and is on its way to becoming an accepted industry standard.

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