FAA Mandates Safety Management Systems for Aviation Organizations

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 24, 2024 22:30 PMNews
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People with luggage waiting in an airport or train station terminal, checking information on electronic display boards
People with luggage waiting in an airport or train station terminal, checking information on electronic display boards. Source: unsplash

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced new requirements for charter airlines, commuter airlines, air tour operators, and specific aircraft manufacturers to implement a Safety Management System (SMS). This move aims to strengthen aviation safety by ensuring a structured and proactive approach to identifying and addressing safety risks.

Under the new regulations, aviation organizations are required to establish a Safety Management System within one to three years, depending on their operation type. SMS is a system that allows these organizations to proactively identify hazards and manage safety risks in a systematic way. It enables them to develop and implement mitigation measures tailored to their specific environments and operations.

The FAA’s mandate to implement SMS is not entirely new, as it has required U.S. airlines to adopt these systems since 2018. Some aircraft manufacturers have already developed and implemented SMS, which has been approved by the FAA. According to FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker, the proactive approach to safety management required by the new rule will prevent accidents and save lives.

In addition to requiring SMS implementation, the new rule obliges aviation organizations to share hazard information with others in the industry. This collaboration is intended to foster a safer aviation environment by allowing organizations to work together in identifying and addressing potential safety issues. The rule exceeds the requirements set by the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act of 2020, which mandated SMS only for aircraft manufacturers.

This development is in response to recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and independent review panels. By requiring SMS for more aviation organizations, the FAA aims to promote a culture of safety and reduce the risk of accidents in the aviation industry. The rule represents a significant step towards creating a safer airspace by addressing safety risks early and collaboratively.

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