SMS Resources, Costs, Benefits

 - March 1, 2011, 8:10 AM

There are many resources available for SMS implementation. Of course, any operator can peruse FAA Advisory Circular 120-92A for the particulars and use that to create an SMS. Even in regulatory climates where SMS is required, as will be the case in Europe next year, there is no requirement to use a particular system to create an SMS. IS-BAO is internationally recognized, however, and may be easier for authorities to understand.

A useful resource is a two-hour online training program offered by FlightSafety International. The introductory price for the SMS for Aviation Professionals course is $225 (regularly $275).

Argus offers a variety of SMS options via its Prism program. "Our most expensive is around $10,000," said Argus Prism program manager Steve Witowski. "Most are far lower than that."

Auditor and pilot Bart Gault said that initial IS-BAO registration costs about $8,000 to $10,000 for a small flight department.

The IBAC IS-BAO toolkit with generic company manual costs $1,200 via membership in an IBAC association or $1,650 for non-members. Add auditing costs if an audit is needed.

Baldwin Aviation offers an SMSLite program for small operators through smsFSP (full-service program). Both include access to Baldwin's Safety Barometer for monitoring safety trends. has created an IS-BAO-compliant SMS available for $2,995 per year. The company has IS-BAO auditing capability in-house, but did that so it knows how to help customers prepare for audits. "What we most likely will do," said SMS administrator Bob Allen, "is give them a certificate that certifies theyπre doing an IS-BAO-compliant SMS." Customers can choose to get an audit from a third-party auditor to become IS-BAO registered.

NBAA has a comprehensive SMS resource section at