Air Canada pilots and the company faced penalties for failure to report
FAA self-reporting policy would have rewarded quick report and punished failure
Might Blockchain technology speed Reporting?
This article is about NTSB report of the July 7, 2017, incident Air Canada flight over taxiway C instead of runway 28R at San Francisco International Airport. The headline finds its source in a quote in the reporter’s last paragraphs:
“Board member Weener also criticized the airline industry’s reliance on self-reporting of safety issues, saying the industry and the Federal Aviation Administration should consider stronger measures to intervene after a dangerous situation.
Weener noted that other pilots were alert enough to turn on lights to warn the off-course Air Canada jet. Yet once the danger passed, he said, they took no action to prompt ‘an intervention and evaluation of the Air Canada crew’.”
The NTSB findings (NTSB/AIR-18/01 PB2018-101561) mentioned crew fatigue, crew misidentification of the runway, a failure to tune the correct ILS frequency and a need for more real time NOTAM information. The issue of the delay in reporting of the incident was mentioned in ¶2.4 of the Incidence Sequence. Member Weener’s quote added that the FAA should reduce its reliance on self-reporting and“stronger measures” to intervene.
First, the FAA had no direct jurisdiction over the Air Canada pilots or the company’s management. Transport Canada has a strong policy on enforcement and does not rely on self-disclosure. Among the explicit responses cited by Transport Canada are:
…will decide whether to proceed administratively or judicially. Judicial action involves the prosecution of the alleged offender in the criminal courts and is only applicable to a few of the provisions of the Aeronautics Act and the CARs. Administrative action comprises all other measures taken by the Minister pursuant to the provisions of the Aeronautics Act, and monetary penalties.
The possibility of severe actions against the individual and corporate certificate holders existed.
If indeed the Member’s oral comments were directed to the FAA’s self-disclosure policies (ASRS, VDRP, SMS, Safety Compliance and Enforcement), these programs not only encourage participation/disclosure by providing those who submit a report of the safety violation with IMMUNITY. Those, who choose not to participate in these programs to deal with safety problems PROACTIVELY, do face sanctions.
This FAA safety regime depends on all participants submitting these sorts of moments and in the course of the SMS process the FAA would learn of the serious problems as experienced at SFO. That information is included in a macro data base by which other carriers would become aware of the NOTAM deficiency, as an example. The absence of punishment has proven to encourage better risk identification and the reduction of this sort of problem.
When airports are included in this process, the operator of this facility would be involved in the problem solving.
Another potential gain in information sharing resulting in greater expedition is preventative action would be the employment of Blockchain technology.
Maybe the Transport Canada more stringent rule was the reason for delay?
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