FAA Withdraws Advanced Notice for SMS Proposal

 - March 17, 2011, 10:22 AM

The FAA withdrew an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) today, released in July 2009, that solicited public comment on potential rules requiring a safety management system (SMS) for Part 21, 119, 121, 125, 135, 141, 142, and 145 certificate holders, product manufacturers, applicants and employers. This comment period closed on Oct. 21, 2009. “The FAA is withdrawing the ANPRM because we have issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require [Part 121] certificate holders to develop and implement an SMS,” the agency said in the withdrawal notice. But Part 135 charter operators, or the other aforementioned certificate holders, are not off the hook for SMS because of this ANPRM withdrawal–if anything, it just delays the inevitable. “The FAA may initiate additional rulemaking in the future to consider SMS for other product/service providers,” the agency noted. The comment period for the Part 121 NPRM was extended to March 7, largely at the request of non-airline alphabet groups, including NBAA, AOPA, EAA, ARSA, NATA and others. Basically, the signers of the request believe that the Part 121 SMS rule will have a significant impact on SMS rules for other types of operation and the groups wanted more time to collect data and formulate comments. In fact, the FAA has said that SMS rules for Part 135 operators would be similar to those drafted for Part 121.