Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1541 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Transportation

ASAP for Flight Attendants

According to Wayne Rosenkrans (2008, p.34), aviation safety programs to date were divided into certain types of programs for different employee groups within the aviation sector. In most of these, employees were disciplined for errors, even if inadvertent, that could compromise the safety of flights, passengers, or personnel on the flight in question. Most recently, however, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has however considered implementing aviation safety action programs (ASAPs) to include all personnel sectors in aviation. The fundamental difference between such a program and those used to date is that the ASAP does not involve discipline, but rather a positive and non-threatening environment in which employees can help administrators towards greater airline safety. It is therefore an encouraging rather than a threatening program, with the premise that employees will be more willing to be honest in writing and submitting reports. In this, the focus is removed from employee responsibility and placed upon overall improvement and functioning. Liability is therefore removed from the equation, and according to Rosenkrans, the effects have been positive not only in improving air safety in a more targeted way, but also in terms of how employee satisfaction and compliance.

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Fundamentally, ASAPs have at their basis a sense of building trust among employees, employees and employers, and also employees and top management associations. As such, no names are divulged when circulating reports, and reports are circulated only for the purpose of prevention and education. In this way, the focus on the concern rather than the person causing the concern has the desired impact of future prevention rather than scape-goating.

Term Paper on Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants Assignment

Indeed, according to reports, the implementation of ASAPs have resulted in greater employee compliance with written rules and regulations, as employees are more aware of how these connect with the mechanism of aviation safety. As such, employees experience a greater understanding of the complicated business of aviation, as well as how each individual's duties contribute to its smooth operation. This is particularly so in the case of flight attendants (Rosenkrans, p. 38). Submitted reports are circulated to flight attendants, some of whom specifically benefit from them. Indeed, some employees note that policies and procedures have become clearer to them as a result of reading circulated reports. In this way, a mutually beneficial scheme is in place rather than a system of crime and punishment. Indeed, the benefits extend both on an inter- and intra-organizational basis.

Removing the element of fear by removing punishment, the FAA can in this way ensure that reporting is both more accurate and more efficient. Employees are allowed to report safety problems without the fear of repercussions such as loss of reputation, suspension, or even termination. Under an ASAP, safety data are not only collected and analyzed, but also retained for future reference, ensuring further greater efficiency than is the case under traditional programs. Initial corrective action is then followed by preventative action to ensure that safety is not compromised in the same way in the future. This further improves the efficiency of the system.

The information obtained and retained in this way is also used in training future employees. In implementing ASAPs for flight attendants as well, this is beneficial in terms of ensuring the safety of future passengers in a more efficient way. Rosenkrans (p. 35) also notes that discipline is not removed from the aviation sector entirely by including ASAPs for flight attendants. Deliberately perpetrated safety risks or a blatant disregard for aviation rules and regulations are subject to disciplinary action. The point of an ASAP is however to ensure that inadvertent errors committed for whatever reason do not remain undetected, and that they can furthermore be used for the future benefit of both passengers and personnel.

Rosenkrans (p. 35) further notes that there is union support for implementing ASAPs for flight attendants, but that certain conditions need to be met. One of these is that reports should be sent to NASA within 10 days, in order to protect administrators in case such reports prove unacceptable. It appears however that flight attendants experience ASAPs as generally positive, not only because of its more positive reinforcement paradigm, but also for the way in which it addresses specific issues and concerns within their workplace.

The program is also beneficial for FAA officials, who can use reports to gain information regarding the effectiveness of programs effective within the industry. Flight attendants are at the direct receiving end of a large amount of training, policies and procedures. Providing them with the opportunity to submit voluntary reports in turn provides objective feedback relating to their job-related experiences. These can then be modified according to the estimated need revealed in reports.

Another element of the ASAP implementation is that specific airlines are free to modify the programs according to their needs and the specific culture according to which they operate. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is then signed by the airline and the FAA to ensure that basic regulations are met with implementation. In this way, the partnership relationship is encouraged on all levels of employment and management.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO, 2005), an industry-wide overview of the program provides some room for improvement, particularly in terms of inspection and training for employees. The premise of the GAO report is that programs such as ASAP are not functioning optimally because there is a basic lack of targeted training. Indeed, it is premised that training should be targeted towards rapidly advancing aviation technology so that personnel can more accurately report possible safety problems.

According to the GAO (2005, p.11), industry partnership programs help the FAA in its mission to ensure optimal safety for its aviation employees and passengers. ASAPs are supplemented by programs such as the Aviation Safety Reporting Program and Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program. These are used in addition to regular inspections and surveillance. In addition to training, however, the GAO also holds that the FAA lacks adequate management control to use and integrate the safety information from these reports to optimal effect.

Another potential problem relates to the actions taken against offenders of the rules and regulations implemented. As mentioned, inadvertent errors are not handled punitively, but rather correctively. According to the GAO report, however, where punitive measures are indeed called for, the guidelines for these are not sufficiently clear to be effective. Furthermore, the report states that sanctions are sometimes changed according to standards that are unrelated to the case in question, and may therefore not serve as a sufficient deterrent for future violations. Such factors may include priorities such as unreasonable case loads for attorneys, and a concomitant drive to close cases more quickly by negotiating a lower penalty. The enforcement process itself is also not clearly delineated or managed.

The report furthermore notes the importance of training for safety inspectors and analysts in order to ensure a greater degree of accuracy in safety reporting. This also applies to flight attendants when implementing ASAPs. The FAA could for example use the submitted reports to improve its training programs for flight attendants. When required to submit reports, flight attendants should be aware of the possible safety problems that could occur in order to report these accurately. Training can greatly enhance this, and also help flight attendants to be more aware of how to use circulated reports.

In general, implementing ASAP for flight attendants and other aviation employees is not only beneficial, but also vital in terms of optimizing aviation safety for all users of FAA airlines. As seen above, ASAPs for flight attendants are beneficial on several levels: in addition to the obvious safety benefits, it reveals shortcomings in vital areas of training, it builds employee-management trust, and it provides a connection between policy and procedure for flight attendants.

The programs are only in their… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants.  (2008, May 3).  Retrieved October 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants."  3 May 2008.  Web.  28 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Implementing ASAP for Flight Attendants."  May 3, 2008.  Accessed October 28, 2020.