Hunter Valley NSW, Australia, October 26, 2015 – The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) announced today its endorsement of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) recent changes in enforcement and regulatory philosophy focused on performance-based and “Just Culture” approaches to compliance and enforcement.
Addressing the National Convention of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia in Hunter Valley, Australia on 23 October 2015, FSF’s general counsel Kenneth Quinn praised FAA and CASA.
“These leading national civil aviation authorities are embarking on enlightened best practices to compliance and enforcement by emphasizing the importance of proportionality, discretion, and remedial action to address safety issues. The vast majority of deviation from the rules are due to human factors, honest mistakes, or diminished skills, where training and education are appropriate corrective measures, not punishment or enforcement,” Quinn said. “All countries should closely examine CASA’s and FAA’s new, forward-thinking compliance and enforcement philosophies and get away from outdated ‘cop-on-the-beat’ mentality, where inspectors are looking to write up violations, instead of helping organizations and individuals become compliant and enhance safety.”
The FAA’s new Compliance Philosophy Order, issued on September 3, 2015, Order 2150.3B, Change 9, recognizes that the FAA’s goal is to use the most effective means to return an entity holding a certificate or approval to full compliance and prevent recurrence. If a person is willing and able to comply with regulatory standards, FAA is now willing to use non-punitive “compliance actions” to address the underlying root cause through airman training, counseling, or education, with agreed-upon corrective actions. When FAA determines that compliance actions are deemed insufficient, the new policy emphasizes the use of “Warning Notices” or “Letters of Correction” to set forth the facts and circumstances of noncompliance and a specific agreement to institute corrective actions within a specified time frame. Legal enforcement action with findings of violation remain appropriate for willful or flagrant violations, or a refusal to cooperate in remedial actions.
In the same spirit, CASA’s new “Regulatory Philosophy” issued on September 15, 2015 sets out ten key principles to guide their regulatory powers. The principles include embracing a “Just Culture” approach, taking actions that are appropriate and in proportion to the circumstances, exercising discretion fairly, avoiding punitive measures, with a focus on encouragement of training and education, with a view to remedying identified shortcomings and correcting deficiencies.
“These modern safety management enforcement philosophies, which need extensive training and ‘buy in’ from front-line inspectors to senior management can rapidly re-establish trust between the regulator and the regulated, and encourage people to come forward to admit mistakes, turning them into teaching moments that can save lives,” Quinn continued
The inaugural meeting of FSF’s Legal Advisory Committee, composed of leading aviation lawyers from around the world, will be held at FSF’s upcoming International Air Safety Summit in Miami Beach, FL (Nov 2-4, 2015). The Committee will further exploring implementation of new ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices for safety information protection, including new model “advance arrangements” among safety agencies, law enforcement, and prosecutors in the wake of a crash.
Flight Safety Foundation (www.flightsafety.org) is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to be the leading voice of safety for the global aerospace community.
Contact: Emily McGee, +1 703 739 6700, ext. 126; firstname.lastname@example.org