American Airlines is less safe with ASAP gone: Allied Pilots

Is American Airlines less safe today? The Allied Pilots Association (APA) thinks so.
A 14-year old program that provides incentives to airline employees to report safety problems confidentially has been terminated at American, says pilot leadership.

American 757 cockpit.jpgIn an internal message to members, obtained by RWG, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) says “management’s demand to change the most basic protective tenants of ASAP [Aviation Safety Action Plan] has resulted in that program’s termination”.

“While pilots have lost valuable protections, management has lost a valuable pipeline of safety information and AA [American Airlines] is a less-safe airline because of it.”

Specifically, the APA accuses management of tabling an ASAP proposal that “increases a pilot’s risk for discipline, making it unacceptable”.

American could not be immediately reached for comment.

APA says it remains committed to achieving a renewed ASAP agreement “that ensures the preservation of the original intent to have a self-reporting safety program designed to protect pilots in exchange for invaluable safety insight into our operation”.

However, with ASAP gone, the APA says pilots “can rely on the limited protections afforded by the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System program, but must be aware that the FAA will be closely monitoring our operation”.

The union has issued the following specific guidelines (number 6 is particularly poignant):

1. Treat every flight like a checkride. Ensure all required licenses and publications are current and in your possession. Take your time, be meticulous and thorough.

2. Carefully review all MEL requirements and Part One guidance — don’t rely on memory.

3. If you think you may have violated an FAR, AA Ops Spec or clearance, file a NASA ASRS report and TELL NO ONE ELSE. The NASA ASRS program may be accessed at Web address. Visit the site and place it in your computer’s “favorites” list.

4. If you suspect AA of violating FAA regulations, or observe any unsafe operation, report it to APA via an Observer Report (which can be accessed from the members’ home page of the APA Web site).

5. If you have to file a company P2 report, have APA Safety review it prior to submission. You may e-mail them at or call at 817-302-2150.

6. Finally, DO NOT speak to your chief pilot about an operational event without APA representation. DO NOT use the Flight Department’s “confidential” safety reporting hotline. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, everything you say can and WILL be used against you!

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3 Responses to American Airlines is less safe with ASAP gone: Allied Pilots

  1. Scared Flier in RDU October 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    I can’t believe the pilots union would play political games with an important safety program like this! Makes you wonder where their priorities are… is it getting a big pay raise from management or keeping the passengers safe??

  2. sparky October 20, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    Scared Flier has it all wrong. It’s managment that’s playing political games by wanting to use ASAP reports to discipline pilots. The only protection the pilots have any more is through the Union. It’s a really sad day when you can’t talk to your Chief Pilot as a friend and colleague any more, but that’s the way it is on this property.

  3. Mary Kirby October 20, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    I’ve just followed this up with a new post. Check out what American is saying. Management says it doesn’t believe the safety of American’s operations will be affected by the program’s expiration. What’s the point of a safety program if it doesn’t make a difference either way?