The following excerpt was derived from the ATSAP Safety website and describes the purpose behind the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP).
ATSAP is modeled after the airlines ASAP (Aviation Safety Action Program). The program is non-punitive, and serves as one leg of a good Safety Management System. ATSAP also helps develop a strong safety culture. The intent is to identify and report all events that may or did lead to a breakdown in safety, or increase risk to our operation. If we want to mitigate all safety risks, we need to identify and study the thousands of unreported events that may reveal the one critical safety event that could result in disaster.
ATSAP reporting must be non-punitive. An employee cannot be decertified nor can any credentialing action take place if an employee reports an event to the ATSAP program. ATSAP provides a systematic approach for Controllers and others providing or supporting the provision of air traffic services (per MOU with NATCA) including Air Traffic Assistants and Flight Data Communications specialists (per MOU with NAGE)as well as managers when engaged in providing air traffic control services. Through self-reporting of safety events and cooperative follow-up, appropriate actions can be taken to improve flight safety.
Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP)