Confidentiality and Incentives to Report
Pilots, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, mechanics, ground personnel, and others involved in aviation operations submit reports to the ASRS when they are involved in, or observe, an incident or situation in which aviation safety may have been compromised. All submissions are voluntary.
Reports sent to the ASRS are held in strict confidence. More than one million reports have been submitted to date and no reporter's identity has ever been breached by the ASRS. ASRS de-identifies reports before entering them into the incident database. All personal and organizational names are removed. Dates, times, and related information, which could be used to infer an identity, are either generalized or eliminated.
The FAA offers ASRS reporters further guarantees and incentives to report. It has committed itself not to use ASRS information against reporters in enforcement actions. It has also chosen to waive fines and penalties, subject to certain limitations, for unintentional violations of federal aviation statutes and regulations which are reported to ASRS. The FAA's initiation, and continued support of the ASRS program and its willingness to waive penalties in qualifying cases is a measure of the value it places on the safety information gathered, and the products made possible, through incident reporting to the ASRS.