Voluntary Disclosure is a process that was put into place by FAA policy that allows airlines and their employees to submit FAA violations discovered by a Regulated Entity before the violation is found by the FAA. If a Regulated Entity voluntarily submits information about a violation, there are no penalties placed against the Regulated Entity (with some limitations), and a letter is written by the FAA and filed stating details of the violation. This letter remains on record for one year, and is then discarded as long as the violation does not occur during the one-year time frame. There are incentives for both the FAA and the Regulated Entities for using this process: the Regulated Entity does not get charged any penalties for an FAA-approved self-disclosed violation, and the FAA is able to promote increased safety measures by encouraging airlines to come forward with their violations without penalty.
As a result, voluntary disclosure offers a higher standard for continued operational safety, maintenance, flight operations, and anti-drug and alcohol misuse prevention programs and to the manufacturing functions of a production approval holders organization.
The VDRP (Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program) application offers a convenient, automated interface for regulated entities and FAA inspectors to use to process self-disclosures.