Sundance Helicopters recently became the nation’s first helicopter tour operator and Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) member to implement the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and Maintenance Safety Action Program (MSAP). ASAP and MSAP are voluntary, self-reporting programs designed to identify and reduce safety concerns.
“We are proud to participate in ASAP and MSAP; they support our just culture,” said Jay Francis, president of Sundance Helicopters. “These programs have a long history and proven success in the aviation industry, and will complement our safety initiatives.”
ASAP and MSAP use employee input to identify safety concerns, operational deficiencies, non-compliance of regulation, deviations from company policy and unusual events. In partnership with all relevant company departments and the FAA, each report is investigated and corrective actions determined, based on a non-disciplinary approach to flight safety. All of the elements of ASAP and MSAP are set forth in the FAA’s Advisory Circular 120-66B and an approved memorandum of understanding between the FAA and Sundance Helicopters.
Archie Gray, senior vice president of Air Methods, added, “The bottom line in helicopter operations, and in aviation, is safety. Sundance’s ASAP and MSAP participation gives us an opportunity to work collegiately with the FAA and to promote safety.”
Sundance Helicopters puts pilots and maintenance technicians through extensive education and training that goes beyond FAA requirements. The quality of training is verified through rigorous testing and followed up with performance monitoring systems. Sundance is also among the first in the industry to adopt the new global standard in aviation safety with a helicopter specific Safety Management System (SMS).
Sundance Helicopters, part of Air Methods’ Tourism Division, has been operating in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon for close to 30 years and carries over 160,000 customers every year.
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