Bermuda First Country To Require SMS for Aircraft Entry

 - November 18, 2010, 10:40 AM

Starting today, Bermuda is requiring all foreign operators of business aircraft with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds to have a safety management system (SMS) and meet other requirements under ICAO Annex 6.2.3. For U.S. operators, this includes both Part 91 and 135 operators. Besides the precedent-setting SMS requirement, affected operators will also need an operations manual, fatigue management program, MMEL, Type 1A flight data recorder and crew microphone-based communication system. Additionally, aircraft with an mtow exceeding 59,400 pounds are required to have a Type 1 FDR and a cockpit voice recorder. The Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation (BDCA) said any of the following would show SMS compliance: IS-BAO registration, Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) registration, Argus rating, Wyvern registration, an SMS manual deemed acceptable by the state of registry or proof of intent to produce an SMS. For Part 91 operators, this wording leaves IS-BAO the only compliance method since the FAA has yet to establish an SMS NPRM for Part 91, let alone Part 135. In fact, the FAA only last week issued an SMS proposed rule for Part 121 operators. Compliance with the ICAO annex “will be monitored by random ramp inspections at the L.F. Wade International Airport. Operators discovered to be not compliant will be refused entry to Bermuda until they can demonstrate compliance,” BDCA said.