Airport Group Opposes FAA Safety Plans

 - July 26, 2011, 9:05 AM

Opposing comments filed by the Airports Council International-North America in response to the FAA’s proposed rule calling for the adoption of safety management systems for certified airports call for the agency to delay implementing the rule, citing “serious analytical, procedural and technical concerns” of the organization and its members. In its letter to the FAA, ACI-NA listed several concerns,ranging from an unrealistic timetable for the SMS implementation to the FAA’s “apparent lack of consideration of serious liability and data protection issues,” which the organization claims could “seriously undermine the effectiveness of airport SMS.”

ACI-NA requested the agency shelve the rule until it could address the timetable by which it will be introduced, and how this regulation would mesh with other SMS programs the FAA is implementing.

With regard to the NPRM on Safety Enhancements Part 139, Certification of Airports, ACI-NA asserted that the agency is “proposing to implement costly and time-consuming requirements on airport operators without providing any tangible evidence that these requirements will enhance airport safety.” The airport group suggested that the FAA consider “redoing its regulatory evaluation using both empirical data and industry-accepted analytical techniques,” rather than relying upon “unsupported assumptions regarding the effects that the proposed rule would have on accident rates.”