A Cranky Jackass for the Death of American’s Aviation Safety Action Program

There was some disturbing news out of the Metroplex last week when American’s pilots announced that the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) is dead. It would seem that this program 06_09_12 jackasscontributed greatly to improving safety at the airline, and now, thanks to bickering and stubbornness, it’s gone, and that’s why we’ve got a big fat Cranky Jackass award to be shared by both sides in the fight.

The idea behind ASAP is that it gave pilots a forum for reporting safety issues without fear of landing in hot water. This helped expose safety issues that occurred so that they wouldn’t happen again. It seems that this was a good medium for bringing safety issues to the surface.

Now, it appears that the pilots and American management can’t come to an agreement on how to continue the program, so it’s dead. Way to go. All we can do now is throw out a bunch of blame-bombs to both sides.

From what I can tell, the pilots wanted to have stronger immunity provisions for pilots who report, and American management didn’t like that. In fact, management wanted to have less so that they could take action against pilots who did report reckless behavior. (Would someone really report reckless behavior?) Without a doubt, both of these groups can shoulder the blame to some extent. And it’s naive to think that politics didn’t play a part here.

The pilots and management aren’t exactly holding hands and singing Kumbaya these days. But now everyone is worse off, including passengers. Safety violations will likely go unreported, or at the very least, reported through alternate, less direct channels. That is unfortunate, to say the least, and it shows just how bad labor relations are right now. The fact that the two sides cannot come together for a program that was good for everyone is just downright sad, and it certainly makes me cranky. You’ve both truly earned this Cranky Jackass award.

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