Posted on: 08 April 2011 by Mark Howells
Pilot leaders of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation (AWAC) have decided that they will no longer support or participate in the airline’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).
Representatives for the pilots’ union say they made the decision following recent actions by the AWAC flight department, which “interfered with the conduct and integrity of the programme”. The ASAP aims to enhance aviation safety through the prevention of accidents and incidents by using reports voluntarily submitted by pilots in a pro-active, non-punitive environment.
“The recent actions by Air Wisconsin management to circumvent the programme have led the Air Wisconsin pilots to question the integrity of the company’s ASAP programme and its commitment to the employees of the company and the travelling public,” explained Captain Joe Ellis, chairman of the Air Wisconsin Master Executive Council (MEC). “The MEC believes that management’s refusal to follow the processes outlined in the programme that lead to safety enhancements indicates the company does not value the programme.
“This decision was not taken lightly, and after extensive research and discussion, the MEC decided that withdrawal was the only appropriate option at this time. While this is a situation we have worked hard to avoid, we will work equally hard to rebuild the programme and reinstate a stronger ASAP that will provide real safety benefits to our pilots, co-workers, and passengers,” Ellis added.
ASAP encourages air carrier employees to voluntarily report safety information that may be critical to identifying potential precursors to accidents. These reports are made in a non-punitive environment that protects employees who voluntarily submit reports.
ASAP is based on a safety partnership that includes the FAA and Air Wisconsin, and must include any third party such as the employee’s labour organisation.