Republic Airlines, an SMS adherent, wins FAA prestigious award

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Republic Airline Earns Fourth Consecutive FAA Diamond Award

FAA recognized Republic’s Excellence in AMT Training

Airline is a leader in Safety Culture, SMS and the data reporting

CONGRESS: SMS is advanced safety, not “lax”

The FAA has recognized Republic Airline’s Maintenance and Engineering Department with its Diamond Award of Excellence for aircraft maintenance training the fourth consecutive year. There are almost 700 airlines and repair stations which were eligible for this award, and Republic and 170 carriers were so honored. To date, Republic Airways has earned 21 Diamond Awards (15 Diamonds for Chautauqua Airlines, four for Republic and two for Shuttle America).

Consistent with its strong Safety Culture, Republic requires its more than 500 technicians and inspectors to complete the program’s core coursework and related training hours in aviation maintenance, human factors, fatigue risk management and FAA regulations.

“I believe this award once again demonstrates the dedication, excellence and professionalism our maintenance team exhibits year after year,” VP of Maintenance and Engineering Tom Duffy said. “Republic and the FAA share a mutual commitment to top-tier training, and the Diamond Award is proof of that close partnership. I am very proud to work with this team.”

 

An award-winning AMT training program is indicative of Republic’s commitment to safety. Its website makes the following impressive statement (excerpted and highlighted):

Republic’s safety initiative is driven by a Safety Management System that is designed to identify hazards and mitigate operational risks while reinforcing a culture of continuous improvement through established safety systems.

This Safety Management System includes data and information received from voluntarily and regulatory implemented safety programs.

Voluntary Reporting Programs

  • Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)
    Republic has independent ASAP programs for our Pilots, Flight Attendants, Dispatchers and Mechanics.
  • Non-Punitive Employee Reporting
    Republic Airline has an established Safety Hotline and a Safety Suggestion Box on the home page of the Intranet where every associate can voice safety enhancements, identify possible hazards or latent conditions that could lead to increased risk in a confidential, non-punitive process (as outline in the Safety Policy Letter).
  • Aviation Safety Information and Analysis Sharing (ASIAS)
    ASIAS allows industry participants to analyze and track accident precursors to known safety hazards, as well as identify and track operational risks.
  • Confidential Information Sharing Program (CISP)
    Republic is the first regional carrier to establish information-sharing of ASAP reports with the FAA’s Air Traffic Control ASAP program, ATSAP, to share information and identify lessons learned between the two programs. CISP with ATC is established with both of Republic’s Pilot and aircraft Dispatcher ASAP programs.
  • Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)
    Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) is a voluntary safety program that involves the routine downloading of Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) data for de-identified aggregate analysis of routine line operations.
  • Regional Shared Audit Program (RSAP)
    Republic Airline played a founding role in the development of a Regional Shared Audit Program.  Through this program, all regional carriers flying as Delta Connection or United Express have partnered to create one all-encompassing checklist and schedule that is used to audit every United and Delta station that has regional flying.  This new audit creates a full view of how a station is complying with federal regulations and company policies and procedures in a way that has never been done before.  By partnering in this program we are enhancing our oversight of stations we operate to and from while reducing our workload (and lowering our costs).
  • Internal Evaluation Program (IEP)
    The internal evaluation program is designed to evaluate departmental procedures to ensure our company is following polices and federal regulations.

Regulatory Reporting

  • Fatigue Risk Management Program (FRMP for Pilots)
    The Company and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters collaborate together to identify fatigue hazards, and implement corrective measure to improve system safety.

  • Emergency Response
    Working with the NTSB’s Transportation Disaster Assistance (TDA), codeshare partners, and vendors, the Company ensures they are prepared for the worst case scenario. Through training, drills, and meetings, processes are developed to manage a crisis situation.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the US government with the responsibility of ensuring safety at work and a healthful work environment. OSHA’s mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operations Safety Audit (IOSA)
    Republic Airline was the first regional air operator to have the distinction of successfully achieving the IOSA standards to be added to the IOSA Registry. IOSA is considered to be the gold standard for international safety management in the industry. Republic completes bi-annual audits conducted by authorized Audit Organizations (AO) that thoroughly evaluate the process controls of all operational areas under this acclaimed international standard.

Operating an airline is a complex demanding job requiring constant attention to the little details which matter so much to safety. Republic’s award and this glimpse of its safety culture are concrete examples of the benefits which Safety Management Systems produce for the traveling public. Hopefully, the Members of Congress who associate SMS with lax regulation will recognize that, to the contrary, this rubric puts the regulator into a continuous process committed to reducing risk.



 

 

 

 

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