Safety Management Systems

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May 30, 2008

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 Rceommended Practices (SARPS) found in Annex 6, Part 2 specify that an 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 this standard is November 2010. Annex 6 Part 1 of the ICAO SARPS also provides a January 1, 2009 compliance date for implementation of a SMS for commercial operators.

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 Operations (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. IBAC is also in the process of developing a SMS tool based on IS-BAO. This tool kit is expected to be available in the fall of 2008. For additional information, visit the IBAC website or contact NBAA's Operations Service Group at