Published online Midwest Flyer Magazine – February/March 2021
Any situation that could affect safety in the National Airspace System (NAS), other than criminal activities and accidents, may be confidentially reported to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through the Aviation and Safety Reporting System (ASRS) program.
This program was implemented by the FAA after the investigation of an airline crash in 1974 revealed a lack of information sharing among various parties in the NAS. FAA Advisory Circular 00-46E explains the procedures for, and protections available from, ASRS.
While there are many reasons to file an ASRS report, pilots often file a report to avail themselves of the waiver of sanction in FAA enforcement cases. One of the requirements to be eligible for the waiver of sanction is that the report is filed within 10 days from the date of the (possible) violation or the date when the person became aware or should have been aware of a (possible) violation. However, even though the waiver of imposition of sanction prevents the FAA’s proposed penalty (for example, a certificate suspension) from taking effect, the finding of violation from the enforcement action will still go on the airman’s record.
All information that might help identify persons filing ASRS reports and parties named within are deleted by NASA, and 14 CFR 91.25 prohibits the FAA from using ASRS reports in any enforcement action, except accidents or criminal actions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The above information was obtained from a more in-depth article on the subject by Cristina Zambrana of AOPA.