On Monday at NBAA-BACE, the Helicopter Association International (HAI, Booth 3830) announced a safety management system (SMS) software program designed for small operators and others with cost concerns. The HAI SMS program meets the requirements set forth in the NTSB “Most Wanted List” proposal for operators that carry passengers. It is also available to member companies that do not carry passengers for hire.
Open to HAI operator members in good standing, the program is the result of a membership survey in which a significant number of respondents requested turnkey SMS support programs, including ways to make an SMS easier to implement and track. “One of the most exciting elements of the HAI SMS program is how quickly and efficiently it will help to improve safety across operations,” said HAI president and CEO James Viola.
HAI chose three software providers for the program: the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) of Washington, D.C.; Baldwin Safety and Compliance of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; and Wyvern of Nashua, New Hampshire. “Signing up for the program through one of these providers should save most of our members more money than the cost of their HAI membership. I cannot imagine any HAI member not being interested in improving their safety program while saving money at the same time,” said Viola.
Both Baldwin and Wyvern offer aviation safety action program (ASAP) reporting modules on their servers for companies participating in ACSF’s third-party–managed ASAP program. ACSF can then access the ASAP reports and conduct event review committee (ERC) meetings with the participating company and the FAA.
ASAP is a voluntary, self-reporting program that identifies and reduces possible flight safety concerns and mitigates risk. The ACSF SMS tool is a simple and secure web-based product that helps helicopter operators easily manage their SMS needs by documenting aviation safety data, performing risk assessments, assigning corrective actions, and exporting ASAP reports to the FAA.
ACSF, Baldwin, and Wyvern will offer HAI members significant discounts on their traditional subscription rates. “Some of the proposal evaluators were actually concerned that the programs had been scaled back to produce these rates, but each of these programs is the same, fully functional software solution they offer other customers,” said Chris Hill, manager of the HAI SMS program.
Additionally, some of the rates are scalable depending on the needs of each operator, allowing for additional aircraft, users, or premium services. However, the program rates are available only to new SMS software subscribers and will not apply to existing customers of these programs.
Each of the packages offered through the program allows users to verify their compliance with current and future international and domestic regulations. While the FAA does not currently require SMS programs for all operators, HAI and the NTSB have recommended that helicopter operators develop and adopt a safety reporting system that allows for the collection of data, analysis, and corrective action where necessary. The program packages also offer training, self-auditing capabilities, gap analysis, reporting capabilities, and user-support services.