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Published on : Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The FAA and General Aviation (GA) group’s #FlySafe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community about best practices in calculating and predicting aircraft performance, and operating within established aircraft limitations.
Establishing a Just Safety Culture
In 2015, the FAA introduced a Compliance Philosophy that embraces self-disclosure of errors. A “just culture” allows for due consideration of honest mistakes. But, even unintentional errors can have a serious impact on safety, so we ensure that the underlying safety concern is always addressed.
Our goal is to identify safety issues and correct them as effectively, quickly and efficiently as possible. Our view of compliance stresses a problem-solving approach, which includes root-cause analysis, transparency and information exchange. The goal is to improve the safety performance of all involved.
The FAA’s compliance philosophy emphasizes “Compliance Action” where appropriate. Compliance Action is the FAA’s method for correcting unintentional deviations that come from flawed systems and procedures, simple mistakes, lack of understanding or diminished skills. The FAA believes that these types of deviations are best corrected through root cause analysis and training, education or other appropriate improvements to procedures or training programs. Examples of Compliance Actions include on-the-spot corrections, counseling, and additional training (including remedial training).
A Compliance Action is not a finding of violation. Rather, it is an open and transparent exchange of safety information between you and the FAA. Its only purpose is to restore compliance and correct the underlying causes that led to the deviation.
Generally, if you are qualified, as well as willing and able to cooperate, the FAA will resolve the issue with compliance tools, techniques, concepts and programs. However, an airman who indicates that he or she is unwilling or unable to comply, or shows evidence of intentional deviation, reckless or criminal behavior, or other significant safety risk would be ineligible for Compliance Action.
Compliance and Enforcement
The FAA expects compliance. Our approach to oversight does not mean that we’re going to go easy on compliance. The FAA will continue to use enforcement action when needed. The FAA will maintain strict accountability for inappropriate risk-taking behaviors, and will have zero tolerance for intentional or reckless behavior.
However, the FAA will not use enforcement as the first tool in the toolbox. In all cases, the goal of the FAA Compliance Philosophy is to achieve rapid compliance, to eliminate a safety risk or deviation, and to ensure positive and permanent change.