American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering with pi

Minuteman

“Dongola”
American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering with pilots

A lauded safety program at American Airlines has ended amid bickering between the airline and its pilots, a development that an airline official called "sad and incomprehensible."

The Aviation Safety Action Partnership was a joint program run by the airline, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Allied Pilots Association. Launched in 1994, it allowed pilots to report safety-related incidents for investigation without fear of discipline from American or the FAA. Aviation experts have praised it as an effective way to identify potentially dangerous safety lapses that otherwise might go unreported.

The program expired Monday after American and the union failed to negotiate its renewal. Each side is blaming the other for the failure to keep the partnership alive.

"The APA’s willingness to discard a 14-year program that has done so much for our pilots, our airline and our industry is impossible to understand," American spokeswoman Tami McLallen said.

Billy Nolen, an American pilot who works for airline management, said in a message to pilots that the program’s lapse was "sad and incomprehensible." Airline officials say the union had made unreasonable demands for additional immunity under the plan.

Union officials, meanwhile, alleged that the airline had begun to use the program to punish pilots, and they chafed against a proposal they say would have allowed the airline to label pilots as "reckless."

"Management, in this case, flight department management, has lost the trust of its pilots," union leaders said in an e-mail to pilots. "It is that simple."

American still has ASAP programs for flight attendants and ground workers. Pilots who wish to report safety incidents can still do so confidentially to the airline’s safety department, American officials said. Pilots can also report safety cases under a system operated by NASA.

The collapse of the program, which served as a model for the industry, is the latest casualty of deteriorating relations between American pilots and management. A proposed flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to China was scrapped last year after airline officials and pilots failed to negotiate an agreement to fly the lengthy route.

Contract talks with pilots have dragged on for two years with little progress. And pilots have opposed a bid by American to win antitrust immunity for an alliance with British Airways, which airline executives say is vital to compete on overseas routes.

"Given closer arrangements now being forged between Delta and Northwest, and Continental and United, [American] would be strategically wounded if labor is successful at thwarting" the alliance with British Airways, Daniel McKenzie, airline analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a recent note to investors.

http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/974879.html
AFAIK, Billy Nolen isn't a pilot with AA, but was an instrumental part of the program at UT that developed the software to run the ASAP program (and licensed it for free to airlines), and was brought on at AA when that program ended.

I agree, it is stupid and incomprehensible to shut down ASAP (even with the judge's actions in the Comair Lexington suit).
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Our ASAP program at Southernjets was killed too, because of someone being a bad boy with the data!
 

Soul Brotha'

Well-Known Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Our ASAP program at Southernjets was killed too, because of someone being a bad boy with the data!
They ended it CMR too a few days ago. Everyone is scratching their heads on this one. Management and the union are blaming each other.
 

skydog

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

The article said that the program expired after American and its pilots failed to negotiate its renewal. Negotiate its renewal? What is there to negotiate?
 

airlinetoATC

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

They ended it CMR too a few days ago. Everyone is scratching their heads on this one. Management and the union are blaming each other.
There is ALOT more to this story than the union is telling us. Ask someone about the CR7 go around in LGA. The pilot tried to fill out and ASAP for an incident that clearly doesnt fall under the ASAP program. The program was established to report accidental problems and find solutions to prevent them in the future. i.e. going over max duty day by 10 minutes, 280 kts below 10,000, I taxied the wrong way on alpha. When the FO and FA's report you before you fill out the ASAP and then you expect the program to protect your job afterwords. Sorry doesnt work like that.
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

The article said that the program expired after American and its pilots failed to negotiate its renewal. Negotiate its renewal? What is there to negotiate?
From what I understand, the union was not happy with the way the company acted in response to a few ASAP reports.

[SPECULATION]
The identity of the submitter is provided (I think) by a union rep. only after review/decision by a committee. My guess is that the union (folks who run the program along with some dedicated employees) could not find a common ground with the company (folks who are certified and pay for the program) on when they can expect an ASAP report to be identified for further inquiry.
[/SPECULATION]
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Can't allow safety to get in the way of making money. . .nope - never.

Whatever.
 

skydog

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Something one of my old college professors pointed out in an aviation safety class: profits are number one, regardless of what airlines might say. If they don't make money, it doesn't matter how safe they are because they won't be around long very long.
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Something one of my old college professors pointed out in an aviation safety class: profits are number one, regardless of what airlines might say. If they don't make money, it doesn't matter how safe they are because they won't be around long very long.
Your prof was offering a simplistic picture. There are many conflicting issues. One can be safe, reliable but if not timely.. you fall. One can be timely, reliable but not profitable... you fall.

These various goals are contradictory and each has its demands. the company that survives is the one that can balance more than one or two or three balls in the air at one time.

The real idea is to find the point where the risks are least, the costs are acceptable and the product is reliable enough so that people believe they are getting value for their $$$

And too, safety is a transient item. The public has a short memory when prices fall.
 

airlinetoATC

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Can't allow safety to get in the way of making money. . .nope - never.

Whatever.

well believe it or not ASAP programs save airlines money. Many companies in the business of insuring airlines give a discounted rate to airlines with ASAP programs.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Ask someone about the CR7 go around in LGA. The pilot tried to fill out and ASAP for an incident that clearly doesnt fall under the ASAP program.
I'm confused. Filling out an ASAP after a go around is EXACTLY what the program is for.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

I'm confused. Filling out an ASAP after a go around is EXACTLY what the program is for.
Unless the guy intentionally violated a clearance. I think there might be more to the "go around" story than has been told on here. I could be wrong, too.

They tried to kill our ASAP program not too long ago, too. Can't remember the exact details, but it was re-instated pretty quickly. Still doesn't stop the company from attempting to do an end around using the MX computer data on stuff when they're looking to hang someone. They can't get access to the ASAP data, but they'll damn sure TRY to find it some other way. Normally, they can't make it stick, though.
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

The article said that the program expired after American and its pilots failed to negotiate its renewal. Negotiate its renewal? What is there to negotiate?
Protections for the pilots. If the company refuses to negotiate protections for the pilots that submit reports, then the program must be discontinued. Allowing it to continue would be completely irresponsible on the part of the union. The APA handled this perfectly, and I hope to see them take our a full page ad in the USA Today to attack management for putting safety last on the list of priorities. That'll bring management back to the table.
 

skydog

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Your prof was offering a simplistic picture. There are many conflicting issues. One can be safe, reliable but if not timely.. you fall. One can be timely, reliable but not profitable... you fall.

These various goals are contradictory and each has its demands. the company that survives is the one that can balance more than one or two or three balls in the air at one time.

The real idea is to find the point where the risks are least, the costs are acceptable and the product is reliable enough so that people believe they are getting value for their $$$

And too, safety is a transient item. The public has a short memory when prices fall.
Or, like my old grandpappy used to say. You can have it good, fast, or cheap. Pick any two.
 

skydog

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Protections for the pilots. If the company refuses to negotiate protections for the pilots that submit reports, then the program must be discontinued. Allowing it to continue would be completely irresponsible on the part of the union. The APA handled this perfectly, and I hope to see them take our a full page ad in the USA Today to attack management for putting safety last on the list of priorities. That'll bring management back to the table.
It would seem that the pilots have done the same. They're more worried about protecting themselves then protecting the public. Clearly safety isn't highest on their priority list either.
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

It would seem that the pilots have done the same. They're more worried about protecting themselves then protecting the public. Clearly safety isn't highest on their priority list either.
The pilots can still submit ASRS reports to contribute to safety improvements on the regulatory end. It's not as good as a real ASAP program, but AMR isn't willing to offer them a real ASAP program. The ball is in management's court, not the APA's.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member

Orange Anchor

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

It would seem that the pilots have done the same. They're more worried about protecting themselves then protecting the public. Clearly safety isn't highest on their priority list either.
what you are suggesting is contrary to human nature and few if any are going to admit a mistake if they believe there will be a negative consequence. They conclude most often the mistake will not be discovered and if it is, they can fight it. But admit up front you erred? not likely when consequence is the result.

The value of ASAPs is not the individual report but the unearthing of trends. Also, you have to remember, nothing takes place in a vacuum. There have been management/labor problems and then recently the management pilot who used his cell phone while taxiing to report another AA pilot the management guy thought was taxiing to slowly. Sterile cockpit, anyone?

In an ASAP you have the company, the labor and the FAA. Anyone can at any time opt out. Who is the loser (or to use the net jargon 'looser')? The public.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

Very well stated.
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
Re: American Airlines safety program ends amid bickering wit

I'm confused. Filling out an ASAP after a go around is EXACTLY what the program is for.
Not really. The incident has to be reviewed and then entered into the ASAP. You deliberately go outside the lines and no, you don't get a freebie.

ASAPs are for mistakes and errors (unintentional) , not violations (intentional).

the other big thing is ASAPs are usually paired with FOQA and the combined value is where you really find things. ASAPs tend to be subjective while FOQA is objective. Each one provides its own palette of colors but wWith both, you get a better color picture of what is going on.
 
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