Industry Still Confused about SMS

 - June 29, 2009, 12:00 PM

To clear up continuing confusion about safety management systems, FAA Flight Standards SMS office manager Don Arendt told attendees at last month’s NATA Air Charter Summit that while SMS “is a set of decision-making practices,” it isn’t a substitute for compliance. While ICAO’s Annex 6 took effect on January 1, requiring countries to implement SMS regulations, the FAA has filed a difference with ICAO, and the U.S. remains non-compliant until regulations are enacted. This means that U.S. operators who fly to a country where SMS is required may have to show proof of compliance, even before the FAA adopts mandatory SMS via a rulemaking.