Wichita-based emergency medical transport operator EagleMed achieved Level 3 of the FAA’s safety management system on July 7. EagleMed president Larry Bugg said, “We are committed to every practice and principle of SMS and are determined to achieve SMS Level 4 status, which represents the pinnacle of aviation safety.” EagleMed is one of two FAA Part 135 certificate holders in the FAA’s Central Region to achieve Level 3 status.
Safety Management Systems
The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) and Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) have teamed to raise standards for the air charter industry, to include Part 135 and 121 operators and air charter brokers. The two associations are collaborating on the development and implementation of best practices “that will lead the air charter industry,” said Acana chairman and co-founder Scott Bickford.
The FAA last month released Safety Info for Operators document 14009 to explain a new data-gathering system on implementation of safety enhancements to Part 121 air carriers. The informational notice says all data gathered is only for the evaluation of industry-wide safety-related issues and is not intended to reflect regulatory compliance.
The FAA published the document as part of its support for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), of which the agency is a participant along with air carriers, manufacturers and aviation labor organizations.
As the aviation sector awaits the FAA’s final rule on the safety management systems (SMS) process, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has looked more closely at the status of SMS implementation, as well as at some of the key challenges the FAA and industry face in completing that implementation. The agency’s air traffic organization is currently the only FAA group that has completed the SMS implementation process, although five other agency organizations are finalizing their efforts.
Australian minerals institute AusIMM awarded its Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award to the Flight Safety Foundation for its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (Bars) program, which was designed to audit aircraft operations that are used extensively for carrying mining company personnel. The institute noted the Bars program raised the level of minimum acceptable standards for aircraft operations worldwide. Bars consists of four components: risk-based international aviation standard, auditing program, aviation safety training programs and global safety data analysis program.
Many of us in aviation in the U.S. haven’t been paying much attention to our neighbor to the north. Canadians are known for being somewhat quiet and unassuming. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that quiet and unassuming doesn’t mean they’re not busily working on practical solutions to important issues. In fact, there’s a lot going on in Canada that we in the U.S. could learn from in the aviation arena.
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.
Advanced Aircrew Academy received FAA FAASTeam approval of its Part 43 FAR Review online training module for FAA inspection authorization (IA) renewal credit. Advanced Aircrew Academy is already an FAA-approved training provider for the Wings pilot proficiency program. The company offers online maintenance modules for alcohol/drug misuse prevention, fatigue management, hazardous materials (dangerous goods), human factors, minimum equipment list (MEL) use, OSHA topics, RVSM, safety management systems and security.
Crownair Aviation at Montgomery Field in San Diego, Calif., has selected Baldwin Aviation Safety & Compliance of Hilton Head, S.C., to develop its IS-BAO-based safety management systems. The FBO/MRO employs 35 people and, according to the company, it has made it a strategic goal to further develop its positive safety culture. “We look forward to working with Baldwin Aviation to achieve this goal,” said David Ryan, the company’s president and CEO.
Never renowned for its ability to fast-track rulemaking, the FAA might be gunning for a new record.
It has been nearly a decade since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced an amendment to its aviation rulemaking to require member states to have certified international airports establish a safety management system (SMS). The FAA has said it supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with ICAO standards and recommended practices.
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