FAA Adopts New Approach to Operational Error Reporting

21 July 2009 (Last Updated July 21st, 2009 18:30)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken steps to instill a new safety culture within air traffic control management by reducing emphasis on blame and focusing on reasons and preventive measures. As per the new approach, when an operational error occurs, the names of control

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken steps to instill a new safety culture within air traffic control management by reducing emphasis on blame and focusing on reasons and preventive measures.

As per the new approach, when an operational error occurs, the names of controllers will not be included in reports sent to FAA headquarters, allowing investigators to focus on the factors responsible instead of the responsible controllers.

As part of the FAA's new non-punitive reporting system for controllers, the Air Traffic Safety Action Program will also allow controllers and other employees to report safety problems without fear of punishment.

FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said that they are focusing on why errors, such as not maintaining adequate distance between aircraft, occur and what could be done to prevent them.

Front-line employees are the sources for quality information to identify the safety concerns, Babbitt added.

The controllers will not be removed from their position after an operational error unless it is essential.