Babbitt: No Operator ‘Too Small’ for SMS

 - June 17, 2010, 1:17 PM

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has a message to aircraft operators that believe they should be exempt from implementing a safety management system (SMS). “I’m confident that SMS will really make a difference [in reducing aviation accidents]. I know there are those who complain that they’re too small for SMS. Or that it’s too costly. Or that they don’t have time,” he said. “No one and no company is too small for SMS. The cost of SMS is far less than the cost of an accident. Saying that you don’t have time for SMS is the functional equivalent of saying that you don’t have time for safety.” Babbitt characterized SMS thus: “You identify the problem, you analyze it, you come up with a solution, you train to the solution and then you check how you’re doing. [It’s] a safety feedback loop.” To operators who believe SMS is just a fad, he said that not only is SMS here to stay, “It’s going to be here for the long haul because it works. Everybody has a responsibility for safety.” The FAA plans to release SMS rules to operators by year-end, and some countries will require aircraft operators to have SMS implemented by year-end.