FAA awards interim controller ASAP contract

Washington DC
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The US FAA plans to award a sole-source contract to Washington DC-based CSSI for technical engineering, operational and research support for its air traffic safety action program (ATSAP), a voluntary reporting system being set up for air traffic controllers.

ATSAP was officially launched in July 2008 when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FAA to test the idea, the equivalent of which has been used by pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and dispatchers for several years.

Aviation safety action programs (ASAP) are designed to offer aviation workers qualified immunity from prosecution in return for rapid reporting of errors and potential problems that the agency can then use to spot dangerous trends or issues.

The FAA says the five-month, $635,000 contract is being issued as a "bridge" to "fulfil the immediate requirements" of ATSAP until a new competitive contract is awarded later this fiscal year.

Under the July MOU, the ATSAP is to operate through January at "several targeted facilities", according to the FAA. "If the program is determined to be successful after a comprehensive review and evaluation, both sides intend for it to be a continuing program."