Regulatory Brief -- FAA institutes Streamlined Administrative Action Process (SAAP)

Regulatory Brief

FAA institutes Streamlined Administrative Action Process (SAAP)

The issue:

On August 30, 1999, the FAA officially instituted the new Streamlined Administrative Action Process (SAAP). The SAAP program was developed in response to AOPA and industry�s concerns over the FAA�s ill-fated "ticket" program. Under the revised program, inspectors council airmen, complete a job-aid, and after a records review, mail a warning or letter-of-correction to the airman. Under the SAAP program, inspectors may not issue "on-the-spot" tickets to airman. Additionally, the SAAP guidance stresses the opportunity for the airmen to file any additional pertinent comments he/she feels may have a bearing on the case.

The importance to our members:

The FAA maintains that SAAP is intended to reduce FAA workload associated with the processing of minor infractions. However, AOPA anticipates this new, easier-to-use process, will result in a higher number of infractions being issued against airman. During the first 15 days after initiating the new program, the FAA reported that 72 SAAP actions had been processed.. AOPA has already heard from members involved in SAAP actions.

Significant provisions:

  • Prior to the implementation of the SAAP program, all administrative actions involved a burdensome process necessitating letters of investigation and extensive files. Under the old system, it took the FAA an average of 75 days to conclude even a minor airman infraction. This period is expected to reduced to 3-5 days under the revised program.
  • The SAAP program is intended to reduce FAA workload associated with the processing of minor airmen infractions as well as provide better documentation on the types of infractions being observed. This information is meant to assist the FAA in prioritizing their safety and training programs.
  • SAAP is intended to supplement the existing administrative action process, not replace it.
  • The program applies only to minor or straightforward infractions.
  • Administrative action is used in lieu of more severe enforcement action when: applicable law does not require legal action, lack of qualification or competency was not involved, the violation was not deliberate, and the violation was not the result of a blatant disregard for safety or security.
  • Inspectors are not permitted to issue on-the-spot tickets under the SAAP program.

AOPA position:

Although the SAAP is a dramatic improvement over the FAA�s original "ticket" program, the program is still not perfect. The current provisions of the SAAP grant FAA inspectors a great deal of flexibility. AOPA intends to monitor this situation closely and report any apparent flaws, misuses, or misapplications by inspectors directly to the FAA.

Status:

AOPA is currently monitoring this situation closely. If you're involved in a SAAP action and experience difficulties with the new process, please call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/872-2672. AOPA will update the membership as this situation develops. AOPA has requested FAA provide a periodic summary on the types of infractions being reported by their inspectors. This information will be used, as with the FAA, to tailor the Association�s safety, training and editorial products.

Related documents:

AOPA Pilot magazine article,"FAA�s Ticket Program", by John Yodice, September 1999

FAA Order 8300.10, 8400.10, 8700.10, August 3, 1999 (requires Adobe Reader)

FAA SAAP Job Aid form (requires Adobe Reader)

FAA�s Flight Standards Inspector Training Slides

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