The FAA has reopened a comment period for a 2016 rulemaking that would require airports to implement safety management systems (SMS). Published on July 14, 2016, the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) actually was an update of a proposal from an NPRM that was published in October 2010.
That SNPRM had clarified that SMS would be required only at certified airports that are classified as small, medium, or large hub facilities in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems; serve international air traffic; or have more than 100,000 total annual operations. In addition, the agency had extended the original implementation period from 18 to 24 months and would give a year for the submission of an implementation plan rather than the originally proposed six months. It also revised training requirements and made the rulemaking more consistent with other SMS initiatives underway.
That rulemaking had drawn more than three dozen comments from airline, airport, business aviation, and helicopter organizations. But since so much time has passed, the FAA said, “it is appropriate to solicit comments on any new information or data that has come to light since the close of the comment period.” The reopened comment period is now extended through September 23.
This effort comes as the FAA also is expected to release a proposal requiring SMS for Part 135 operations, MROs, and manufacturers next year, and as many organizations seek to adopt their own SMS independently. Separately, Garmin’s FltPlan business is planning a webinar on its own SMS program for Part 91 and 135 operators on August 26 at 4 p.m. Central Time.