Priester Spells Out Asap Program Benefits

 - June 10, 2013, 2:05 PM

When the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) rolled out its Aviation Safety Action Program (Asap) last August it began with just two operators to demonstrate the system’s viability. In mid-May, the foundation officially signed its sixth Great Lakes Region member, Priester Aviation, a Part 135 charter operator based at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK).

Developed by ACSF with the help of the FAA, Asap provides an airline-type systematic approach to employees of on-demand charter and fractional operators to identify and correct potential safety hazards.

Priester Aviation president Andy Priester told AIN his organization joined ASAP because it “gives us a different lens through which to view [the safety of] our operation, as well as safety trends within the industry.” The Priester fleet includes 30 aircraft based at 12 locations around the world. “Every operator should want to raise the [charter] safety bar,” Priester said. “We’re enthusiastic and optimistic [about Asap] especially because of the FAA’s willingness to support the program. Asap represents the next step in our safety management system [SMS] development and lets us collect and interpret data from our fleet, as well as many other Asap operators. That means an opportunity to capture more data and enhance overall safety once that data is properly analyzed. I think that helps us and other operators learn from the trends.”

However, Priester reminds operators that Asap comes with a price tag. “It has been a lot of work implementing [Asap] since we are new to the program. We needed to train everyone about what this meant to them and the company. Data collection and analysis takes time, effort and money, but improving [charter] safety will be the ultimate result.”

Fractional ownership provider Flight Options also participates in Asap.