FAA mandates SMS for airlines

Commercial airlines operating in the US must have a safety management system (SMS) in place by 2018, under new FAA rules.

Commercial airlines operating in the US must have a safety management system (SMS) in place by 2018, under new FAA rules.

The regulator yesterday (January 7) issued a final rule that requires carriers to have a “formal, top-down and organisation-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls”.

The FAA says that having a dedicated management system in place will “promote a safety culture” within airlines as well as help to ensure compliance with technical standards.

“Aviation is incredibly safe, but continued growth means that we must be proactive and smart about how we use safety data to detect and mitigate risk,” said US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx.

“SMS gives airlines the tools they need to further reduce risk in commercial aviation.”

The regulator estimates that mandating SMS will cost airlines $224m over the next 10 years, but could potentially provide $205m-$472m of benefits to the sector.

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