In another effort to help reduce accidents, NATA is developing a ground-incident safety management system (SMS) that it hopes will merge data on ground-handling accidents from as many as 500 FBOs within two years. Though NATA president James Coyne estimates that such accidents cause $100 million in damage claims annually, there is no data readily available on the details. The SMS would serve as a centralized vehicle for collecting and processing information on ramp and taxiway accidents with an eye toward increasing operator awareness and standardizing procedures. NATA has retained the consulting firm Simat, Helliesen & Eichner (SH&E) to collect and organize the incoming reports–starting with about a dozen FBOs. Those facilities taking part in the SMS program will also have access to a Web site carrying information about the effort’s progress and safety tips gleaned from FBOs around the country.
The SMS program has the blessings of the U.S. DOT and the FAA, and Coyne has said NATA’s aim is to reduce insurance claims from ground-handling accidents by half within five years.