Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation

Department

College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Mark A. Friend, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Michael O'Toole, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Scott Winter, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Keven O'Leary, Ph.D.

Comments

The United States Air Force officially adopted a military Safety Management System in 2013 to proactively prevent mishaps before they occurred. The military Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) allows front-line operators the ability to utilize identity-free processes to report safety concerns without fearing retribution. Historical statistics show an average of 12 ASAP reports a week, or less than one percent of all Air Force Mobility flights, were being filed by mobility operators. Personnel at the Air Mobility Command safety center determined fewer concerns than desired were being reported and were interested in understanding why operators chose not to report using ASAP.

It is possible for multiple factors to contribute positively or negatively toward why an aircrew member would submit an ASAP report. A previous study by Steckel (2014) identified several reasons why airline pilots might not report safety concerns; however, no research exists to determine the same information within the military. The purpose of this dissertation was to determine the extent to which four potential factors influenced an operator’s intention to submit safety concerns using the military ASAP. While many factors have the ability to influence an individual’s decision-making, the four primary factors of interest for this dissertation included: repercussion, inconvenience, significance of event, and program value. The focus of this study involved identifying which factors influenced an operator’s intentions to submit ASAP reports by examining six relationship-based hypotheses.

The researcher conducted a survey of 376 mobility aircrew members (302 required) at Scott AFB, IL, to examine responses toward safety reporting. After removing invalid responses, 332 samples were collected, cleaned, and analyzed. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the measurement model while a hypothetical structural model was used to test the six relationships.

The results indicated the factors program value and significance of event directly affect an operator’s intent to submit an ASAP report, and positive correlations were reported between the factor program value and the factors inconvenience and significance of event. The data suggests that despite a lack of trust among upper-management, operators still report significant events even if they fear repercussion, often simply omitting personal details. In addition, the data suggests the inconvenience of the program is not enough to dissuade reporting safety concerns; operators primarily submit safety concerns based on the magnitude of the event. It is suggested for the Air Force to focus their attention on promoting the value of ASAP and explaining the importance of reporting all magnitudes of events. It is believed that by encouraging operators to report less-significant events while promoting the success of the program, the Air Force will see an increase in ASAP reports.

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