ACSF Endorses NTSB Call for SMS, FDM

 - April 16, 2021, 10:50 AM

The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) endorsed the National Transportation Safety Board’s inclusion of safety management systems (SMS), crash-resistant recorders, and flight data monitoring (FDM) programs on the 2021/22 “Most Wanted" list of transportation safety improvements, saying the recommendations will create a safer charter industry.

The NTSB this month updated its Most Wanted list, including a call for FAA to require, as well as verify the effectiveness of, SMS in all revenue passenger-carrying operations. In addition, a second focus area on the list combined a call for mandatory crashworthy recorders and the adoption of flight data monitoring programs. ACSF said the recommendations could help prevent accidents, reduce injuries, and save lives.

“A large part of the educational aspect of our mission is to promote a culture that embraces the non-punitive ‘just culture’ philosophy of programs such as FDM, SMS, and the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP),” said ACSF president Bryan Burns. “These new recommendations from the NTSB align—both with our mission and our latest member benefits.”

Burns pointed to safety board data that of the 1,900 Part 135 organizations, only 20 had been accepted into the FAA’s voluntary SMS program and another 213 have applied. “These data are proof that there’s a lot of opportunities to educate Part 135 operators on the need to raise the bar by establishing an SMS program and having it validated,” Burns said.

ACSF offers an SMS tool that helps operators not only helps set up an SMS but get started on an Aviation Safety Action Program. The organization provides an entry-level offering for first-time users, but as the operator’s SMS matures it encourages them to look at full platforms from companies such as Argus International, Aviation Manuals, Baldwin Aviation, FltPln, and Wyvern.

“As part of our mission, we want to ensure all aviation operators implement an effective SMS, regardless of their fleet size,” he said. In addition. ACSF is preparing to launch a new ACSF FDM program to serve as a resource for companies, including the implementation process and benefits of such a program.