Mechanics at Delta’s regional subsidiary Comair have withdrawn from a maintenance Aviation Safety Action Programme (ASAP), arguing the programme is not working the way it was designed.
Under the US FAA-sponsored ASAP programme, workers who identify and report a potential safety issue related to maintenance are not supposed to face disciplinary action.
But the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which represents 530 Comair mechanics, is claiming that the airline has taken disciplinary actions against union members who have voluntarily submitted reports, contrary to the intent of the FAA programme.
"We have discussed the problems with this dysfunctional programme with both Comair and the FAA for months," says IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. "We no longer have any faith that the programme will ever be managed according to regulations."
The ASAP programme is dependent on voluntary reporting of events, which are then reviewed by a committee with representatives from the airline, the union and the FAA. The goal is to prevent a repeat of the issue or the problem that was reported.
Comair, meanwhile, says it hopes to continue working with the programme and the union.
"We are supportive of the maintenance ASAP programme and, as we have been throughout the process, we remain committed to working with IAM union leadership to address their concerns regarding the programme," says a Comair spokesperson.