FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ACANA and ACSF Collaborate in Industry Best Practices to Increase Consumer Safety
SALEM, N.H.—June 16, 2014—The Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA) and Virginia-based Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) are engaged in a joint effort to bolster higher standards for the air charter industry, to include FAR Part 135s, Part 121s and the air charter broker community.
“ACANA welcomes the ACSF to our association, and we look forward to collaborating, relative to the development and implementation of best practices that will lead the air charter industry,” said Scott Bickford, elected 2014 chair and cofounder of ACANA.
ACSF President Bryan Burns said there is a lack of awareness concerning on-demand air charter within the industry.
“The common goal of the best on-demand air charter companies is to go far beyond the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations, to ensure passenger safety,” Burns said. “Yet, most air charter customers are unfamiliar with these additional efforts.
“We need to establish industry standards and best practices that exceed FAA minimum requirements, implement Safety Management Systems (SMS), welcome third-party audits to validate carriers’ SMS and supporting industry safety organizations that share safety information and best practices.”
He also noted the ACSF’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), which ACANA fully endorses as a member of the ACSF. ASAP, a voluntary, self-reporting program identifies and reduces possible flight safety concerns and mitigates risk.
Burns explains, “It encourages an employee of a participating member company to voluntarily report safety issues, by offering enforcement-related incentives. An ASAP is based on a safety partnership that includes the ACSF, the FAA and the participating company.”
Another concern of ACANA and the ACSF is the fact that illegal on-demand air charters continues to flourish within the industry unbeknownst to consumers, which is not only dangerous to consumers, but is a violation of regulations by the FAA and the Department of Transportation.
To help remedy this ongoing illegal activity, the ACSF is staffing its Charter Reporting Hotline that allows any employee or agent of a Part 135/121 certificate holder to call its toll-free hotline, 888.759.3581 or 888.SKY-FLT1. The reporter will be able to file a report of suspected illegal commercial flights, where an aircraft operator without an FAA air carrier certificate is accepting compensation for transportation.
“Persons illegally conducting commercial flights adversely affect the safety of consumers and the air charter industry,” Burns said. “If desired, reports can be filed anonymously, and follow-up responses will be provided to reporters with a case code. The FAA will be provided with details to initiate an investigation, and the ACSF will regularly contact the FAA to ensure that cases are being followed up for appropriate action.”
Karen Di Piazza