ACSF Tells ICAO Safety Information Task Force to Protect Voluntary Safety Data

Alexandria, VA, December 14, 2012 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) recently made a presentation to a listening session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Safety Information Protection Task Force. The purpose of the listening session was to solicit recommendations on balancing the protection of safety information with the administration of justice, safety-regulatory action, and the public's right to know.

"The ACSF believes that the current safety climate can only be enhanced through the protection of voluntarily submitted safety information," said ACSF Director of Safety Russ Lawton. "Otherwise, all the advances in recent years will be reversed and the industry will experience a degraded level of safety."

"Companies that want to enhance their safety culture through the implementation of voluntary safety reporting will be reluctant to support these programs if they cannot provide assurance to their employees that this information will be protected," noted Lawton. "And the number and quality of any reports will diminish significantly if company employees have the least concern that their reports will be made public."

"A wealth of safety information will go unreported if this information is used in order to place blame on a single individual in the name of accountability," Lawton added. "The Air Charter Safety Foundation strongly recommends that ICAO standards support the protection of voluntarily submitted safety data, thereby encouraging operators to address previously unknown safety issues at their root cause."