FAA Floats SMS Reqs for Aircraft OEMs, Part 135 Ops

 - January 11, 2023, 11:35 AM

The FAA today issued a much-anticipated proposal to update and expand safety management systems (SMS) requirements to encompass aircraft manufacturers and Part 135 charter, commuter, and air-tour operators. “Noticeably absent from the proposal is Part 145 approved maintenance organizations,” noted the Aircraft Electronics Association.

U.S. airlines have been required since 2018 to have an SMS to help identify, monitor, and address potential operational hazards before they become serious problems. The expansion of SMS to other operators and aircraft manufacturers is intended to address a congressional mandate and recommendations from the NTSB and two Aviation Rulemaking Committees (ARCs). Additionally, the proposed rule would more closely align the U.S. with ICAO Annex 19.

Depending on the operation type, the proposal would require those affected to have an SMS in place one to two years after the rule takes effect. The FAA has also opened a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) president and CEO Pete Bunce said GAMA has been a “strong supporter” for SMS standards at aviation manufacturers and maintenance organizations. “SMS improves safety and fosters a robust safety oversight culture that permeates from top to bottom…We strongly endorse appropriate implementation of SMS standards and look forward to reviewing and commenting on the FAA’s proposed SMS rule.”