February 20, 2008
ALPA Protests Decision that Releases Vital Safety Information
WASHINGTON—Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement today regarding the U.S. District Court Judge’s ruling in favor of Magistrate Judge James B. Todd’s findings, which concluded that there was no statutory or regulatory privilege protecting Comair’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) reports from discovery in litigation.
“We are extremely disappointed with the Magistrate’s ruling in the Comair case and even more outraged that a U.S. District Court Judge would uphold his findings. If these safety reports are released to third parties, this revolutionary, non-punitive safety system will be in jeopardy, putting the traveling public at undue risk.
“This ruling undoes a lot of hard work we’ve all accomplished in airline safety and sets us back by decades. It will bring preemptive, proactive safety solutions in our industry to a screeching halt, forcing us to rely once again only on information gathered after accidents. The public deserves better.
“The truth is that our passengers get more benefits from non-punitive safety reporting programs like the one this Judge is undermining than virtually any program in aviation safety today.
“On behalf of the 61,000 pilots who fly for 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada—and the safety of our passengers and cargo—I call on Congress to review this matter during the upcoming House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Hearing on FAA surveillance and oversight of airlines, to be held March 12. These programs are crucial in giving the FAA the ability to perform its oversight role effectively.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 61,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit: www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contacts: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, 703/481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org