Clay Lacy Earns FAA's SMS Voluntary Program Recognition

 - March 29, 2023, 3:19 PM
FAA officials presented Clay Lacy with a certificate for its successful participation in the agency's voluntary SMS program. (Photo: Clay Lacy)

Clay Lacy Aviation has received FAA recognition for meeting the standards of the agency’s safety management system voluntary program (SMSVP). FAA validation places the Los Angeles-based company among the 2 percent of Part 135 operators in the U.S. that have completed the agency's SMSVP process and demonstrated a culture of safety promotion, Clay Lacy said. The company added that SMSVP recognition further attests that its program meets International Civil Aviation Organization standards.

Clay Lacy’s SMS program covers all its operations, including aircraft management, maintenance, charter operations, and FBO services. The recognition follows an approximately two-year process of working with the FAA. “Clay Lacy has a commitment and priority to safety, continuous improvement, and enhancing our safety culture to be proactive and predictive to address problems before they occur,” said COO David Lamb. “We are going above and beyond what the FAA is requiring because we recognize the importance and benefits of having a holistic, organizational approach to safety operations.”

Implementation of the SMS program ties into Clay Lacy's continuous improvement program (CIP), under which it takes a systematic review of its processes and seeks company-wide participation to benefit internal and external stakeholders, Clay Lacy said.

The company highlighted improvements that have already resulted from its SMS, saying it helped identify and assess a potential hazard on battery thermal runaway events during flight. As a result, Clay Lacy equips its airplanes with thermal runaway bags and flight crews have been trained to deal with such a rare incident.

“We know that this is something that’s more important than checking a box,” Lamb said. “Our culture is one of leadership and doing the right thing on a daily basis. While this is an important milestone, we know that our work to improve is never completed.”