Here are some excerpts and links that show, when FAA initiated their NPRM to protect ATSAP data from FOIA disclosure, they were repeating the same efforts taken more than a decade earlier, regarding both ASAP data and FOQA data.
In the 4/3/2008 Hearing before the House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, key testimony was provided by retired FAA Inspector Joseph Thrash. Here are samples of records submitted by Mr. Thrash to the 744-page Hearing Record:
…at page 153, Mr. Thrash says:
A December 17th, 2001 memo by AFS-1 Director of Flight Standards Service, Mr. Ballough, might be the key that Mr. Scovel can use in your wisely-directed order to him to inspect this ASAP program. This is a key memo, because it gives the ASAP FAA event review committee member total autonomy in his or her decision to accept or reject the crew member’s ASAP report. This event review committee is made up of three people: two Continental people, usually a senior management captain and usually a union representative. The FAA event representative ASAP in our Continental Certificate Management Office was a retired Continental Airlines pilot.
…at page 155, Mr. Thrash says:
Mr. Nicholas Sabatini signed Regulation 14, CFR Part 193, under provisions of 49 U.S.C. 40123, to essentially prohibit the release of ASAP and other certain FAA-approved voluntary disclosure information on January 26th, 2005. The regulation essentially protects ASAP, which is a non-regulatory, voluntary program, created by an advisory circular, which supplants Federal Aviation regulations in this particular case, from the public’s rights and the freedom for information regarding their safety.
Here is a copy of Mr. Ballough’s 12/17/2001 memo:
And, here is a link to a PDF copy of FAA Order 8000.82, Designation of ASAP Info as Protected, which became effective on 9/3/2003. FAA Order 8000.82 was created with the sole intent of impeding citizen access to aviation safety data as collected via ASAP. One interesting feature of this FAA Order is that, in 2003, FAA responsibly included NPRM comments (and FAA responses); see Appendix 1, at pages 6-11 of FAA Order 8000.82.
Some deeper background on ASAP (earlier history):
It appears that ASAP originated in the early 1990’s. Here is a chronology with links to PDF copies of past FAA Advisory Circulars, Orders, Federal Register entries, etc.:
- 1/8/1997: Advisory Circular 120-66 ASAP (14p)
- May 1999: USAirwaves newsletter, with comments and a resolution on ASAP (2p) — note that the article and Resolution discusses that USAirways had started an ASAP in 1992, and American Airlines started one in 1994.
- 3/17/2000: Advisory Circular 120-66A ASAP (23p)
- 9/4/2002: NPRM for FOQA Proposal
- 9/5/2002: NPRM for ASAP Proposal — to protect ASAP from FOIA disclosure