ARLINGTON, VA – Airlines and pilot organizations should reinstate voluntary safety-reporting programs to ensure the highest possible level of protection for the traveling public, according to AIA president and CEO Marion Blakey.

“Recent decisions by several US commercial air carriers to discontinue safety incident disclosure agreements, such as the Aviation Safety Action Program, are troubling, and the parties involved must put safety first and contractual disputes second,” Blakey said.

“Programs like ASAP are vital tools in aviation safety and have played a large role in making the last several years some of the safest in history,” Blakey continued. “These programs should be reinstated as soon as possible.”

The voluntary agreements encourage pilots, mechanics, controllers, and others to report any incidents that concern the safety of aircraft operation. ASAP has been extremely successful in discovering and identifying safety issues before they lead to accidents, Blakey explained.

The programs have been used by most airlines since the 1990s. When incident information is reported through a voluntary program, it is analyzed by a team comprised of airline, union, and FAA representatives. The team looks for causes and trends and makes recommendations to improve safety.

AIA member companies enthusiastically support voluntary safety reporting programs and urge airlines and pilot groups to put them back into place without delay.