FAA Seeks More Time On Safety Management Plan

 - January 8, 2009, 11:41 AM

Because it has not completed guidelines for a Safety Management System (SMS) for U.S. operators, the FAA on Tuesday filed a “difference” with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over the Jan. 1, 2009, deadline for having SMS requirements. Compliance with the ICAO standard depends on FAA action to define specific requirements, but the agency has not yet developed regulations or policy for implementation of SMS by operators. The FAA has published Advisory Circular 120-92, “Introduction to Safety Management Systems for Air Operators,” which contains information for operators to develop SMS programs voluntarily. Additional supporting guidance and tools are being developed. At present, there are no authorized provisions for FAA approval or acceptance of SMS programs. Industry CEOs, management officials, safety officers and FAA managers and inspectors should note the contents of Information for Operators No. 08053 issued Nov. 26, 2008. Meanwhile, the FAA is engaged in talks with other countries regarding honoring the “difference.” ICAO further recommends a phased implementation once requirements are defined.