The FAA intends to significantly broaden its safety management systems requirement according to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published Jan. 11. The new rule would require charter, commuter and air tour operators along with aircraft manufacturers to implement safety management systems. “This proposed rule is intended to improve aviation safety by requiring organizations to implement a proactive approach to managing safety,” the agency said in the NPRM. Comments close on March 13.
Safety management systems have been required by airlines since 2018 and are aimed at making operators and manufacturers address safety issues to prevent accidents rather than react to them. “A safety management system (SMS) provides an organization-wide approach to identifying safety hazards, assessing, and managing safety risk, and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls,” the NPRM reads. “An SMS provides a set of decision-making processes and procedures that can improve safety by assisting an organization in planning, organizing, directing, and controlling its aviation-related business activities.”