The air charter industry is very diverse. Charter operator and broker organizations of various sizes, quality and competencies are vying to handle your flight and dollars. New charter brokers appear continuously, offering as an expert to arrange charters as your agent, or offering a flying membership program. It is important to understand there are no real barriers to entry and literally anyone can advertise as a charter broker or membership program, and take your money up front.
The DOT and FAA government departments do their best in reviewing and enforcing practices in their separate realms, however there is little barrier to entry, government rating or seal of approval for charter brokers, and private charter fliers assume their own risk in choosing a private jet and charter service.
One key component when evaluating charter operators is whether they have implemented an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). ASAP is a confidential, nonpunitive safety reporting program that allows employees to report events when they have confidence that their reports will be used to produce positive results, and not to place blame. Companies that have implemented an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) have learned a wealth of information regarding safety-related events that otherwise would have gone undetected until a major event occurred.
ASAP is an FAA/industry partnership that provides a near consequence-free environment, whereby the participants can identify safety issues and report information that can be critical in identifying potential precursors to accidents.
Your charter broker operator will help you evaluate the quality and competency of companies to better manage your risk. By participating in the ASAP program, operators can significantly reduce the possibility of critical hazards that are not commonly considered by the chartering public.