Wed, Feb 06, 2008
Gives Pilots, Management More Time To Sort Out Issues
An innovative pilot safety program at American Airlines will
survive the next few months, after the FAA granted a temporary
reprieve as airline executives and union officials bicker over how
to administer the program.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the FAA, at American's
request, extended the Aviation Safety Action Partnership program by
90 days. "Now we need to work through it," said American
spokeswoman Tami McLallen. "We're continuing to have dialogue,
which is a good thing."
ASAP allows pilots to report safety-related issues, without fear
of discipline by the airline or the FAA. That immunity includes if
the pilot was at fault. First adopted by American in 1994, similar
programs have since been adopted by other airlines.
As ANN reported, the program
was in danger of being eliminated Thursday, due to claims by the
Allied Pilots Association the company has unfairly disciplined
pilots, even when an incident was accepted for review under the
program. That, they argued, has made pilots wary of participating,
and could eventually increase the chances of safety breakdowns.
American counters it is allowed to discipline pilots in the rare
instances when an outside party, such as a ramp worker, also
submits a report. The airline has so far refused to sign off on a
union plan to extend immunity to pilots in those circumstances.
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