ATC Safety Program Comes Under Scrutiny
Many types of systems, especially those concerning public safety, have programs in place that enable employees within the system, or users of the system to report errors, safety concerns, problems without fear of punitive damages or confidentiality issues. Air traffic control is no exception to this. The Air Traffic Safety Action Program (Atsap) is similar to the aviation safety action program where errors with equipment, operational concerns, etc can be reported for evaluation and hopefully resolution. One of the biggest problems with the Atsap program is a lack of power and follow through on the part of the committee reviewing safety concerns. Recommendations are made concerning reports, and reviews of incidents- but whether recommendations are being regarded is questionable. Another concern for this program is whether or not the review committee should handle only operational errors, or if they should also be reviewing controller conduct issues-which they also have been receiving.
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