49 USC 40123: Protection of voluntarily submitted information
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49 USC 40123: Protection of voluntarily submitted information Text contains those laws in effect on June 17, 2024

§40123. Protection of voluntarily submitted information

(a) In General.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 552(b)(3)(B) of title 5, neither the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, nor any agency or third party receiving information from the Administrator, shall disclose voluntarily-provided safety or security related information if the Administrator finds that-

(1) the disclosure of the information would inhibit the voluntary provision of that type of information and that the receipt of that type of information aids in fulfilling the Administrator's safety and security responsibilities; and

(2) withholding such information from disclosure would be consistent with the Administrator's safety and security responsibilities.

(b) Regulations.-The Administrator shall issue regulations to carry out this section.

(Added Pub. L. 104–264, title IV, §402(a), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3255 ; amended Pub. L. 118–63, title III, §354(a), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1113 .)

Editorial Notes


2024-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 118–63 inserted ", including section 552(b)(3)(B) of title 5" after "Notwithstanding any other provision of law" and "or third party" after "nor any agency" in introductory provisions.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Except as otherwise specifically provided, section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1996, and not to be construed as affecting funds made available for a fiscal year ending before Oct. 1, 1996, see section 3 of Pub. L. 104–264, set out as an Effective Date of 1996 Amendment note under section 106 of this title.

Review of Protection From Disclosure

Pub. L. 118–63, title III, §354(b), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1114 , provided that: "Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [May 16, 2024], the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] shall review and update part 193 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, and review section 44735 of title 49, United States Code, to ensure such laws and regulations designate and protect from disclosure information or data submitted, collected, or obtained by the Administrator under voluntary safety programs, including the following:

"(1) Aviation Safety Action Program.

"(2) Flight Operational Quality Assurance.

"(3) Line Operations Safety Assessments.

"(4) Air Traffic Safety Action Program.

"(5) Technical Operations Safety Action Program.

"(6) Such other voluntarily submitted information or programs as the Administrator determines appropriate."

Improved Voluntary Disclosure Reporting System

Pub. L. 112–95, title III, §344, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 81 , provided that:

"(a) Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program Defined.-In this section, the term 'Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program' means the program established by the Federal Aviation Administration through Advisory Circular 00–58A, dated September 8, 2006, including any subsequent revisions thereto.

"(b) Verification.-The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall modify the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program to require inspectors to-

"(1) verify that air carriers are implementing comprehensive solutions to correct the underlying causes of the violations voluntarily disclosed by such air carriers; and

"(2) confirm, before approving a final report of a violation, that a violation with the same root causes, has not been previously discovered by an inspector or self-disclosed by the air carrier.

"(c) Supervisory Review of Voluntary Self-Disclosures.-The Administrator shall establish a process by which voluntary self-disclosures received from air carriers are reviewed and approved by a supervisor after the initial review by an inspector.

"(d) Inspector General Study.-

"(1) In general.-The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall conduct a study of the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program.

"(2) Review.-In conducting the study, the Inspector General shall examine, at a minimum, if the Administration-

"(A) conducts comprehensive reviews of voluntary disclosure reports before closing a voluntary disclosure report under the provisions of the program;

"(B) evaluates the effectiveness of corrective actions taken by air carriers; and

"(C) effectively prevents abuse of the voluntary disclosure reporting program through its secondary review of self-disclosures before they are accepted and closed by the Administration.

"(3) Report to congress.-Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 14, 2012], the Inspector General shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study conducted under this section."