The FAA’s Airports Office and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) have jointly created a new safety system called Airport Voluntary Reporting System (AVRS) to allow the agency’s employees to report safety hazards more easily without fear of retaliation. The FAA and Natca signed a memorandum of understanding for the 18-month pilot program covering 338 of the 550 Airports Office employees.
The AVRS represents an expansion of a program originally offered to airport certification safety inspectors several years ago. The reporting process that began on July 2 allows employees to file confidential online reports identifying safety issues.
An AVRS oversight board composed of three FAA executives then reviews, investigates and helps resolve the issue. It also sends recommendations to the appropriate manager and monitors the agreed-upon solution for compliance. The board sends a final report to the employee who raised the issue after removing identifying information.
The AVRS pilot program mirrors existing voluntary safety reporting programs for other FAA lines of business such as the Air Traffic Safety Action Program, which allows air traffic controllers and other employees to report safety and operational concerns voluntarily.