FAA extends safety reporting programme to include events relating to unmanned systems

The FAA extended the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (ASRP) to UAS operators, including the protections offered through National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), from mid-April. NASA’s ASRS has a reporting form tailored to the UAS community. The FAA says this will ensure that the safety data that is collected will result in actionable information for the entire aviation community.

The FAA’s ASRP enables a non-punitive avenue for anonymous reporting. A report filed with NASA’s ASRS is considered by the FAA to be evidence of a constructive attitude. Therefore, even if a finding of a violation is made, a civil penalty or certificate suspension will not be imposed as long as:

  1. The violation was inadvertent and not deliberate;
  2. The violation did not involve a criminal offense, accident, or action under 49 U.S.C. § 44709, which discloses a lack of qualification or competency, which is wholly excluded from this policy;
  3. The person has not been found in any prior FAA enforcement action to have committed a violation of 49 U.S.C. subtitle VII, or any regulation promulgated there for a period of 5 years prior to the date of occurrence; and
  4. The person proves that, within 10 days after the violation, or date when the person became aware or should have been aware of the violation, he or she completed and delivered or mailed a written report of the incident or occurrence to NASA.

ASRS captures confidential reports, analyzes the resulting aviation safety data, and disseminates vital information to the aviation community. This system is completely confidential, voluntary, and non-punitive. Anyone can use this reporting system, including bystanders.

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