Moving Backward on Airline Safety?


Three airlines drop self-reporting safety program –

Dropping this program has got to be one of those “process indicators” of airline safety. I can't believe that flying will be as safe without this program where pilots could report problems without (supposedly) any fear of punishment. No, we haven't had a crash today, but we have to manage the process, not just the end results.

Three large airlines have abandoned a safety program credited with helping to lower accident rates, prompting criticism of the airlines and unions by safety advocates and government regulators.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Comair have dropped programs that encourage pilots to come forward and report their own mistakes without fear of being punished. Known as the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), the program has helped airlines and regulators uncover scores of potentially dangerous situations and make fixes before they caused crashes.

I'm sure the breakdown is just politic-ing between the pilots, unions, and company… but STOP IT already. Quit messing around with safety and learn how to get along, ok?

Union leaders have charged that airlines have gone back on their word and unfairly punished pilots who voluntarily disclosed problems.

The airlines insist that they have treated employees fairly.

This is an issue in healthcare too — how do create blame-free environments where people can raise concerns about patient safety without blame or retribution? We had thought aviation had GOOD examples of the right kind of behaviors. But maybe not. Sad. I hope they get this fixed.

This local DFW paper's blog has some interesting comments, when this program's demise was rumored in September.

again…A/A. as a 19 year ramp guy for A/A. management is simply tired of hearing about what's broken and has shown no interest in fixing those items…(no need to really elaborate on that issue!).but they have spent millions to “consultants” about how to improve labor relations??? it's easy,like talking to your spouse,LISTEN AND ACT!

Maybe the AA bosses act like the pointy haired Dilbert boss in this recent cartoon?

There's blame being thrown around at the pilots' union, the FAA, and management. Nice. Just like the auto industry… there's plenty of blame going around and I'm sick of the blame game. Everyone needs to learn how to get along for a shared purpose.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. David says

    Note that the anonymous ASRS system (administered by NASA) is still in place. A comparison of the systems here:

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