Safety Management System (SMS)

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FAA Recognizes IS-BAO as Meeting ICAO SMS Standards
April 18, 2011
The FAA issued InFO 11010 last week encouraging general aviation (GA) operators to implement a safety management system (SMS) and providing information on SMS resources. The FAA does not currently require GA operators to establish an SMS, but aviation authorities in several other countries are imposing such requirements, as directed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. In the InFO, the FAA recognizes the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) as an SMS validation program that meets ICAO standards. Review the Notice.

Bermuda Provides Additional Time to Comply with Anenx 6 Part 2
December 2, 2010
The Department of Civil Aviation in Bermuda has issued a notice that provides operators with additional time to implement the provisions in Annex 6 Part 2 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. Section 3 of the standards, which apply to aircraft over 12,500 pounds or turbojet powered aircraft, contain a number of requirements, such as the need to implement a safety management system (SMS). Operators conducing flights to Bermuda now have until April 1, 2011 to comply with the requirements contained in Annex 6 Part 2.

SMS Overview

Through the use of Safety Management Systems (SMS), business aircraft operators can proactively identify and manage risks. Under a formalized SMS, operators identify potential hazards and ensure that a process is put in place to effectively manage them. NBAA advocates that flight departments of all sizes implement a SMS for aircraft operations.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) found in Annex 6, Part 2 specify that a SMS requirement be incorporated into national safety regulations for operators of non-commercial aircraft over 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight or turbojet powered aircraft. The compliance date for ICAO Member states to begin implementation of these standards is November 2010. Annex 6 Part 1 of the ICAO Standards, applicable to commercial operators, required Member states to indicate their plans for compliance beginning on January 1, 2009.

ICAO's 189 member states are currently developing regulations and guidance to meet the ICAO SMS SARPs. While the FAA has developed an Advisory Circular to provide guidance for operators wishing to implement an SMS, specific regulations to meet the ICAO standard have not yet been developed. It should be remembered that SARPs are for states to implement, for the near-term operators of U.S. registered aircraft should look to requirements promulgated by FAA for guidance. NBAA will keep members informed of additional SMS guidance provided by the FAA.

The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operation (IS-BAO), developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its member associations (such as NBAA), is a code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve high levels of safety and professionalism. At the core of the IS-BAO is a scalable SMS tool for business aircraft operators, from single aircraft/single-pilot operations to large multi-aircraft flight departments.

NBAA in cooperation with IBAC is also offering two additional resources to assist operators with SMS implementation. The first is a Toolkit that will help operators develop and implement a SMS that meets ICAO SARPS. The second resource is a SMS e-Learning course developed by IBAC and FlightSafety International.

SMS Documents

ICAO Annex 6, Part 2: SMS Provisions
Information on SMS provisions in the revised version of Annex 6 Operations of Aircraft, Part II: International General Aviation Standards and Recommended Practices

Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)
Programs that collect and analyze data recorded during flight to improve the safety of flight, ATC procedures, and airport and aircraft design and maintenance

FAA SMS Update
Review Notice 8900.133

FAA SMS Web Site
Information on SMS related activities at FAA

CAA (UK) SMS Home Page
Information from the UK CAA on international SMS implementation

FAA InFO Notice 08053
Provides information on FAA policy regarding SMS implementation by commercial operators

"A System for Managing Risk" by Andreas Bentz, Ph.D, Chantilly Air
This article introduces SMS and explains some of the benefits associated with such systems.

FAA Flight Risk Awareness Tool
Flight risk assessment tool development jointly by the FAA and the general aviation industry

FAA Advisory Circular 120-92
Introduces the SMS concept and provides guidance for the development of a SMS

FAA Notice 8700.49
FAA inspector guidance on the use of AC 120-92

ICAO Document 9859: Safety Management Manual
ICAO guidance on SMS development