The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) has expanded its Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) to the FAA’s Eastern region. ACSF chairman and Wheels Up executive Dave Hewitt announced during this week’s 2015 Air Charter Safety Symposium that the Eastern region signed the participation agreement last week. The program began in the Great Lakes region in August 2012, followed by the Western Pacific region in April 2014. ACSF officials hope the Southwest region is next.
The ACSF’s ASAP is designed to offer smaller operators a safety-reporting program that tracks potential issues without fear of enforcement. Currently eight Part 135 and 91 operators participate, but numerous others have asked to participate.
A stumbling block has been limited FAA resources. FAA Flight Standards Director John Duncan conceded to symposium attendees that resources are a challenge but said, “We will commit those resources. I believe those commitments are appropriate and necessary to get these done.” Jet Edge and NetJets executives underscored the importance of their ASAP programs. Jet Edge was the first to join from the Western Pacific region. Senior v-p Ben Walsh said it has resulted in a number of policy changes, adding, “ASAP illuminates reality.” NetJets’ independent program, in place since 2006, has resulted in 300 “systemic enhancements,” said Richard Meikle, the company's v-p of safety, adding its simulator training scenarios are now based on ASAP reports.
More than 110 people attended the symposium, the theme of which was “How do you know you’re safe?” and covered a range of safety topics.