Singapore's Regulator Establishes Safety Program

CAAS launched Tell Sarah on July 27 2020, right in the middle of the virus crisis.
Credit: Credit: Joe Pries

Singapore has set up a program under which anyone, aviation professional or members of the general public, can report potential aviation safety problems.

Called “Tell Sarah,” the program lets concerned people simply go to the Tell Sarah webpage on the site of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and click on Tell Sarah Now.

CAAS launched Tell Sarah on July 27 2020, right in the middle of the virus crisis, according to Alan Foo, acting senior director of CAAS’s safety regulation group.

“The system is designed for the proactive reporting of any aviation safety concerns, safety hazards or unsafe practices to help keep aviation safe,” Foo says. “To ensure independence and confidentiality, reports are managed by an independent third party, KPMG Services.”

Tell Sarah accepts reports involving aircraft operations, air traffic management, airport operations, aircraft maintenance, training and other areas of concern.

It does not accept reports of incidents that must be reported to CAAS under law, such as aircraft accidents, serious incidents and reportable safety matters. Nor will it receive incidents or events with no aviation safety content, or indications of criminal activities.

Participants give the date, time and place of the reported problem, describe the problem and can upload any relevant pictures. They also give contact information which may be restricted to KPMG for confidentiality or, only if the participant allows, shared with CAAS.

“Reports received are for the sole purpose of enhancing aviation safety,” Foo stresses. 

To date, CAAS has received Tell Sarah reports on airport safety, aircraft maintenance and flight operations. “With insights drawn from the reports, CAAS has worked with industry partners to address issues and work on improvements, where needed, to enhance safety outcomes,” Foo says.

Tell Sarah has been operational so far only during the severe slump in air traffic due to COVID-19. That has probably helped get the system up and running with little trouble and plenty of staff time. The program should become both busier and more important as traffic recovers in the vital Asia-Pacific aviation hub.