FAA Issues Final SMS Rule

The final rule requires charter, air tour operators and many manufacturers to develop and maintain safety management systems.

The FAA has issued a SMS rule requiring charter, air tour operators and many manufacturers to develop and maintain safety management systems. [Credit: Shutterstock]

The FAA has issued a final rule requiring charter, air tour operators, and many manufacturers to develop and maintain safety management systems.

The agency said in the fall that it would make the requirement and sent the final rule to the Federal Register on Monday.

“Requiring more aviation organizations to implement a proactive approach to managing safety will prevent accidents and save lives,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement.

Airlines have required SMSs since 2018, and the FAA required airports to have them last year. Most other countries have implemented similar rules for the majority of their aviation industries.

Safety management systems entail four major components: safety policy, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion. By formalizing the company’s attitude toward and implementation of safety protocols, SMSs help companies recognize and address safety issues before they become crises.

“SMS provides a means for a structured, repeatable, systematic approach to proactively identify hazards and manage safety risk,” the FAA said in a news release. “By incorporating SMS, these aviation organizations will be better able to develop and implement mitigations that are appropriate to their specific environment and operations.”


 Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on AVweb.

Russ Niles
Russ NilesContributor
Russ Niles has been a journalist for 40 years, a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb in 2003. When he’s not writing about airplanes he and his wife Marni run a small winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

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