2013-AUG-19: newFOIA seeking ATSAP records for eight recent fatal accidents


Monday August 19, 2013

From: Jeff Lewis,tel. (971) 295-7669
To: FOIA Intake, FAA Headquarters — via email —
Subj: newFOIA, seeking filed ATSAP reports, etc.

Dear Sir or Madame,

Please accept this as a request for copies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The following is a list of eight fatal aviation accidents that have occurred in the last two months, either at a controlled airport, or while the pilot was in radio communications with ATC:

  1. the 6/21/13 crash at Pontiac, MI (N9926Q, at KPTK)
  2. the 6/24/13 crash at San Luis Obispo, CA (N337LJ, at KSBP)
  3. the 7/6/13 crash at San Francisco, CA (Asiana Flight 214, at KSFO)
  4. the 7/22/13 crash at LaGuardia Airport (Southwest Flight 345, at KLGA)
  5. the 7/27/13 crash of N646AG, at Noxen, PA (news articles and NTSB confirm the pilot was in radio communications with Wilkes-Barre (KAVP))
  6. the 8/9/13 crash at Tweed – New Haven Airport (KHVN)
  7. the 8/14/13 crash at Birmingham, AL (KBHM)
  8. the 8/18/13 crash at Kansas City, MO (KMKC)

For this FOIA request, I ask for complete and legible copies of all ATSAP reports as filed for each of the above accidents. I also ask for complete and legible copies of all emails, memoranda, and other agency records and/or correspondence related to the handling and/or processing and/or all other actions related to the ATSAP filing, as taken by all or any agency officials.

Please note, I accept that you will want to redact all names of ATSAP filers. However, I also expect that, once you have done these spot-redactions of filer names, the ATSAP reports will be sufficiently de-identified, and you will thus be able to send me all other ATSAP report details. Please note, too, that all officials who have acted on these ATSAP reports did so in an official capacity, thus there is no personal privacy value in redacting their name or title.

All of these records will be posted online at the aiR-FOIA section of the aiREFORM.com website. The aim, in accordance with the President’s Open Government Initiative, is to help FAA to achieve maximum transparency and accountability for the critical work done by FAA personnel. It is hoped that posting these records will help to empower a meaningfully engaged citizenry; it is believed it will also help more U.S. citizens to become aware of the valuable tool that FOIA provides to illuminate the strengths — and failures — of FAA performance.

There is a substantial public interest to know the information contained in the requested records. Nearly every citizen in this nation is impacted — negatively and/or positively — by at least one airport. The impacts may be from a local GA airport, or from a major commercial hub; or, that citizen may be one of many who’s income depends on the health and efficiency of the aviation economic sector. A high frequency of fatal aviation accidents is indisputably NOT an indicator of aviation health and efficiency. And, clearly, an informed citizenry is an absolute necessity for a healthy democratic process.

I agree to pay up to $50 for these agency records. I understand, though, from past FOIA responses, that it is unlikely any FOIA fees will be needed for the estimated 20-80 pages of responsive records. Please fully comply with the FOIA timelines detailed at 5 U.S.C. § 552. And, please promptly call with questions, or if a higher fee agreement is needed.

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,   Jeff Lewis