March 31, 2022

NBAA recently expressed its support for expansion of protections from public disclosure for participants in the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). The comments were made regarding revisions to FAA Order 8000.82, Designation of Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) Information as Protected From Public Disclosure Under 14 CFR Part 193. The FAA’s expansion of protections would include air carriers beyond the Part 121 operator community, repair stations and other entities that have an ASAP, along with their covered employees.

An ASAP is a voluntary, confidential method of reporting safety incidents to the FAA. Both the agency and the ASAP participants sign a memorandum of understanding which, in part, ensures a non-punitive approach to safety reporting. Single-source reports are not subject to enforcement, with the exception of intentional violations of regulations, intentional disregard for safety, criminal activity, drug- or alcohol-related activity or intentional falsification.

“NBAA recognizes the crucial role of non-punitive reporting of safety hazards in developing a strong safety culture,” said Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA’s director of safety and flight operations. “Protecting such reports from public disclosure helps employees feel comfortable reporting hazards, enabling employers and the industry as a whole to gain considerable knowledge and enhance decision-making capabilities. However, NBAA recommends these protections be expanded to include contract professionals.”

In its comments, NBAA explained that Part 91 business aircraft operators often use contract professionals to meet operational demands when employees are unavailable due to training, medical needs or vacation. Further, many business aviation professionals flying in Part 135 operations are employees of the aircraft owner, while the Part 135 air carrier is the entity holding the ASAP.

Read NBAA’s comments about the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program

“NBAA recommends the FAA more clearly affirm that individuals who are performing duties and responsibilities directly on behalf of an eligible entity have the same ASAP access rights and non-disclosure or enforcement protections as an employee of the eligible entity,” said Larsen.

Safety is a core value of the association, which works with industry to encourage business aviation organizations to implement safety management systems as a best practice.