Avionics News May 2019 - 63

the company never would have known about, except for the
part through a partnership with the FAA and the company through
ASAP report," Lawton explained.
the event review committee, which typically meet every four to
Some crewmembers, maintenance professionals, companies
eight weeks. During these meetings, the ERC conducts root cause
and other prospective participants in ASAP worry about
analysis and develops corrective action plans for new ASAP
submitting transparent reports of errors and other safety
reports and follows up on progress from previous reports.
concerns, considering it airing their dirty laundry to the FAA
In some cases, the FAA isn't directly involved in the resolution.
and potentially the public. It's important to know ASAP reports
As long as a reported event doesn't involve one of the "big
are not discoverable in legal proceedings and are not subject to
five" - international noncompliance with regulations; intentional
distribution through a Freedom of Information Act request.
disregard for safety; criminal activity; substance abuse, controlled
Also, the FAA representative on the ERC is typically not one
substances, or alcohol; or intentional falsification - the report will
of the management team of inspectors assigned to the certificate
be accepted by the ERC and may not require FAA involvement.
holder. Usually, the FAA representative
This is partly due to the FAA's compliance
is a few degrees of separation removed
philosophy, which seeks to improve safety
from the company but still a specialist in
by managing instances of noncompliance
that particular type of operation (i.e., 121,
with regulations and safety incidents
ASAP is for
135, 145 and so on).
without immediately pursuing an
the voluntary
ASAP reports are de-identified and
investigation and resulting enforcement
reporting
of
safety
become part of a database to help the
action. Compliance philosophy is part of
information through
FAA and industry identify common
the FAA's effort to promote just culture.
a partnership with
safety issues.
AC 120-66B will soon be replaced by
the FAA and certain
"ASAP gives the company and
an updated version, but until then, consider
certificated
entities.
other industry participants real-world
the AC and ASAP in general in light of the
feedback," Lawton said. "For example,
FAA's compliance philosophy.
the scenarios reported through ASAP can
"ASAP and the FAA's compliance
be added to current training to mitigate
philosophy go hand in hand," Lawton said.
the risk of recurrence and make sure other pilots know how to
"Compliance philosophy makes ASAP participation a no-brainer.
respond to a similar event."
Both initiatives help develop and ensure a just culture. This
Lawton reports most companies participating in ASAP find
connection is made clearer in the upcoming AC 120-66C."
the process to be an opportunity to provide overall feedback to
If the ERC accepts the report as a legitimate event covered by
personnel and improve safety communications.
ASAP, the reporters will face no penalty or punishment - from
"If you give people the right tools, they'll take the ball and
the FAA or the company - for their error. (It's important to note
run with it," Lawton said. "We've found participants have a very
retraining as a corrective action to prevent reoccurrence of that
constructive attitude and outlook. People who participate in ASAP
particular event is not considered "punishment.")
feel like they're making a difference and are able to improve a part
There are some limitations to ASAP, though. Any event
of the operation they might not have known about, except for the
involving the "big five" listed above will not be accepted
ASAP report."
through ASAP. Also, reports must be made within 24 hours,
Maintenance repair organizations can learn more about ASAP
except for reports considered "sole source." Sole source reports
through the FAA's "A Practical Guide to Maintenance ASAP
are those about which the FAA would have no knowledge
Programs" available at www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/asap/policy/
except for the ASAP report. (In some cases, two pilots or other
media/Maintenance_ASAP_DOT-FAA-AR-9-28.pdf, which
employees involved in the same incident may submit an ASAP
is a useful resource for maintenance and repair organizations,
report. This would still be considered sole source, since the
including discussions about best practices, developing a positive
FAA would have had no knowledge of the event without the
safety culture, human factors in SMS, and even investment
ASAP report.)
analysis of implementing an ASAP.
Lawton estimates almost 90% of the reports received through
The FAA's ASAP advisory circular is available at www.faa.gov/
the ACSF ASAP are sole source.
documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC120-66B.pdf. q
"Sole source reports are incredibly valuable; these are incidents
avionics news

*

may

2019

63


http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/asap/policy/media/maintenance_ASAP_DOT-FAA-AR-9-28.pdf http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/asap/policy/media/maintenance_ASAP_DOT-FAA-AR-9-28.pdf http://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/advisory_circular/AC120-66B.pdf http://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/advisory_circular/AC120-66B.pdf

Avionics News May 2019

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Avionics News May 2019 - Intro
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Avionics News May 2019 - Cover2
Avionics News May 2019 - 1
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Avionics News May 2019 - Cover3
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