Further efforts steps are being taken to help make airline travel safer.
On Friday, President Clinton unveiled a partnership plan that would bring together the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airlines and employee unions, to encourage better reporting of safety concerns by aviation employees and their employers.
Under the plan, pilots, mechanics and other airline personnel could go to committees established by the program with problems they observe or even errors they themselves commit. The aim is to increase the pool of safety information to try to stop accidents from happening.
The Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) hopes to improve understanding of the errors that cause accidents -- errors that might go unreported by pilots or crew members who fear reprisals or punishment for violating FAA regulations.
ASAP will accomplish its goal through three important features, according to a White House statement.
- New Data Sources: The program will provide a previously unavailable source of data that will allow information to be captured rapidly and directly from those responsible for the day-to-day safe operation of the nation's aviation system.
- Incentives to Report Safety Issues: Aviation employees will be encouraged to swiftly report safety problems and be protected for their reporting, through the use of incentives.
- Reducing Accidents and Tracking Problems: The Administration hopes the ASAP program will help meet its goal of an 80 percent reduction in the commercial aviation accident rate by 2007 by improving man-machine interactions and making it easier to put user-friendly technology in the cockpit and control towers.