Business aviation groups including NBAA are praising the FAA’s decision to extend the comment period on its recent notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require charter operators, air tours, and manufacturers to implement safety management systems (SMS). The extended comment period now runs to April 12, a month later than the original March 13 deadline.
The NPRM would update and expand FAR Part 5 SMS requirements beyond Part 121 commercial airlines to certain Part 21 certificate holders (namely aircraft OEMs), Part 135 air charter operations, and companies holding a letter of authorization to conduct air tour operations under FAR 91.147. SMS has been mandated for U.S. airlines since 2018 and Congress has been pressuring the FAA to extend the requirement to other commercial aviation operations.
“We thank the FAA for granting our request for this extension as NBAA and other stakeholders continue to review the NPRM,” said Doug Carr, NBAA's senior v-p for safety, security, sustainability, and international operations. “However, we must ensure that any rulemaking permits scalability to the specific size and needs of every affected flight operation.”
Carr emphasized NBAA’s support for SMS but specifically noted the burdens full-scale SMS would place on single-pilot Part 135 operators. He said SMS rulemaking should be “rolled out responsibly and in full consideration of the varied nature of many business aviation operations.”