The FAA’s Office of Airports has just issued a supplemental desk reference to FAA Order 5200.11, FAA Airports (ARP) Safety Management System.
Safety Management Systems
Because safety is a never-ending quest, a safety management system (SMS) often calls for a cultural change. And changes take time. But just hearing the SMS acronym is enough to make many industry folks roll their eyes and sigh, thinking surely safety management systems must be working by now.
Averring that “I am not your friend,” the FAA’s director of flight standards nevertheless told attendees at the fifth annual Air Charter Safety Symposium he believes in collaboration with offenders before enforcement actions are taken.
Just a few years ago, no one in the aviation safety business anywhere on earth would have seriously asked if the FAA is losing its safety edge. For more than half a century, the FAA was the unquestioned leader in airline safety around the globe, the one all other nations looked to for leadership in setting the safety bar.
The European Aviation Safety Agency last week postponed the highly anticipated April 9 deadline for implementation of rules regarding Safety Management Systems, which would cover flight operations in the European Union of aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds. The agency said work yet to be completed did not allow it to meet last week’s initial date.
Speaking at the opening session at Heli-Expo yesterday, NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman, praised Helicopter Association International (HAI) for its creation of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and its new Safety Accreditation Program. She also challenged HAI members to continue efforts to promote Safety Management Systems (SMS) through IHST’s SMS Toolkit. When asked about NTSB’s contributions to IHST efforts, Hersman was quick to clarify: “You know we do not sit on committees, such as IHST, as voting members.
NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman, keynote speaker at today’s HAI Membership breakfast and meeting here at Heli-Expo 2011, praised HAI for its creation of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and its new Safety Accreditation Program. And she also challenged the HAI membership to continue its efforts to promote Safety Management Systems (SMS) through IHST’s SMS Toolkit.
In an attempt to curtail the number of audits currently competing for the FBO and charter industry’s business, the National Air Transportation Association has launched a single industry-wide standard that it hopes will eventually replace them all. The NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard is designed to promote industry best practices and the development of safety management systems.
Human-factors expert Dr. Tony Kern predicts that the business aviation accident rate “will go up 400 percent over the next 10 years” without significant upgrades to pilot training. Kern, a former B-1B bomber instructor pilot, made his remarks this week at Bombardier’s 15th annual Safety Standdown in Wichita.
There’s only one thing more difficult for a pilot to deal with than being part of a small flight department and that is being a one-person show that often transforms that single employee into the chief pilot, maintenance director, scheduler, fueler and catering director, not to mention administrative assistant.