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Sat, Apr 09, 2011

Air Wisconsin Pilots Withdraw From ASAP Program

Management Program Breach Cited As The Reason

Pilot leaders of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation (AWAC) will no longer support or participate in the airline’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) effective April 7. Representatives for the pilots’ union say they made the decision following recent actions by the AWAC flight department, which they say interfered with the conduct and integrity of the program. The goal of the ASAP is to enhance aviation safety through the prevention of accidents and incidents by using reports voluntarily submitted by pilots in a pro-active, non-punitive environment.

"The recent actions by Air Wisconsin management to circumvent the program have led the Air Wisconsin pilots to question the integrity of the company’s ASAP program and its commitment to the employees of the company and the traveling public,” said Capt. Joe Ellis, chairman of the Air Wisconsin Master Executive Council (MEC). “The ARW MEC believes that management’s refusal to follow the processes outlined in the program that lead to safety enhancements indicates the company does not value the program.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and after extensive research and discussion, the MEC decided that withdrawal was the only appropriate option at this time. While this is a situation we have worked hard to avoid, we will work equally hard to rebuild the program and reinstate a stronger ASAP program that will provide real safety benefits to our pilots, coworkers, and passengers,” Ellis continued.

The ASAP program encourages air carrier employees to voluntarily report safety information that may be critical to identifying potential precursors to accidents. These reports are made in a non-punitive environment that protects employees who voluntarily submit reports. The goal of the ASAP is to enhance aviation safety through the prevention of accidents and incidents. Its focus is to encourage voluntary reporting of safety issues and events that come to the attention of employees of certain certificate holders.

ASAP is based on a safety partnership that includes the FAA and Air Wisconsin, and must include any third party such as the employee's labor organization.

FMI: www.alpa.org

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