Brendan Airways Pilots Withdraw From Voluntary ASAP


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Brendan Airways Pilots Withdraw From Voluntary ASAP

By Daniel Baxter

February 3, 2011 - On Wednesday, Brendan Airways, LLC, doing business as USA3000 Airlines, a U.S. airline, headquartered in Newtown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, pilots, announced their decision to withdraw from the voluntary Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). USA3000 Airlines, operates both scheduled and charter service with a fleet of five Airbus A320 aircraft. 

The goal of the Aviation Safety Action Program (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.

To encourage an employee to voluntarily report safety issues even though they may involve an alleged violation of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), enforcement-related incentives have been designed into the program. An ASAP is based on a safety partnership that will include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the certificate holder, and may include any third party such as the employee's labor organization.

Airline Professionals Association (APA) reported the decision was necessary because of the pattern of actions by USA 3000 management that destroyed the trust required for a successful program. These actions include the access of ASAP information by unauthorized individuals, as well as the inappropriate use of letters in several USA 3000 pilots? personnel files, even though the events and the circumstances surrounding them were admitted into ASAP by the Event Review Committee (ERC) at USA 3000 Airlines.   

It is the union?s position that these letters are not only wrongly placed, but also are grossly inaccurate and may become subject to present or future Pilot Records Improvement Act disclosure requirements. Voluntary safety programs become ineffective when these disclosures are twisted to harm a pilot?s career.? 

?Recent actions by USA 3000 Airlines have caused a breach of trust in relation to ASAP between USA 3000 Airlines, our pilots and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),? said Joe Muckle, APA Teamsters Local 1224 president. ?I am very disappointed that we had no choice but to pull our support from the program.  Local 1224?s goal is that 100 percent of our carriers participate in ASAP.  In the last year we have successfully added ASAP at four carriers and will shortly add one more, which will mean nine of our ten carriers will have ASAP.? 


?We, as professional pilots, always strive to maintain the highest level of proficiency and safety,? Muckle added. ?We embrace any training or program that helps further our safety goals, not just for ourselves and our companies, but for the industry as a whole.  However, when these types of actions take place, actions that tear away at the confidence of the pilot group, the union is left with no choice but to withdraw from a program, even a worthy one such as ASAP.? 

Acknowledgement that the timing of these events is unfortunate is an understatement. In fact, the union is concerned that it may mark an outright blow to the aviation safety initiatives that are currently being addressed. USA 3000?s actions and the pilot response will, no doubt, be at the forefront of concerns from safety experts across all sectors of the aviation industry who are working in a concerted effort to advance airline safety through proven voluntary reporting initiatives such as ASAP, FOQA, LOSA and AQP.  

?The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Airline Division has been working with ASAP for over a decade.  In our experience it has been working well across the board,? said Russ Leighton, the Director of Safety for the IBT Airline Division. ?It is disappointing that this airline refuses to use the program as it was intended.? 

As an organization, APA Teamsters Local 1224 has been a vocal advocate for aviation safety programs such as ASAP.  In fact, it has a reputation for safety and proactive development of safety programs.  APA Teamsters Local 1224 has devoted countless hours of time to participate in Congressional round table discussions and FAA aviation rule making committees (ARC) to identify and address industry-wide safety issues.   

The last publication by APA Teamsters Local 1224 featured the industry movement to incorporate ASAP into Part 121 carrier operations across the nation, and even promoted the benefits of ASAP when companies and flight crew members work together in a collaborative environment to identify and address operational safety hazards.  When ASAP is implemented properly, it allows flight professionals the opportunity to acknowledge an error or identify a hazard in the system, and to report it without fear of losing a job or a license. When a party breaches that trust, ASAP is rendered ineffective. 


"The Teamsters Local 1224 USA 3000 Executive Council went to great lengths to keep ASAP intact at USA 3000 Airlines.  After thorough deliberation, polling the membership, and giving USA 3000 Airlines? management every opportunity to correct the situation, the union decided to discontinue its voluntary participation in ASAP,? said Muckle.  ?We fully embrace ASAP as a worthy program.  It is regrettable that such a decision had to be made to protect pilot careers at USA 3000 Airlines, as well as the program?s integrity.? 

The Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 represents the flight crewmembers of ABX Air, Atlas Air, Cape Air, Gulfstream International, Horizon Airways, Kalitta Air, Miami Air, Omni Air International, Polar Air Cargo, Southern Air and USA 3000.

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