FAA to require charter airlines, plane manufacturers to implement safety systems

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a rule that requires charter airlines, commuter airlines, air tour operators, and some aircraft manufacturers to implement a Safety Management Syste m (SMS). 

According to the FAA, an SMS provides an organization-wide approach to

identifying safety hazards, assessing and managing safety risk, and assuring the

effectiveness of safety risk controls. 

The FAA’s final ruling states that, historically, the approach to aviation safety was based on the reactive analysis of past accidents and the introduction of corrective actions to prevent the recurrence of those events. 

The agency said that in contrast an SMS helps organizations proactively identify potential hazards in the operating environment, analyze the risks of those hazards, and mitigate those risks to prevent an accident or incident.

“With implementation of an SMS, these aviation organizations will be better able to develop and implement mitigations that are appropriate to their environment and operational structure. SMS can be used to avoid or mitigate future aviation accidents,” the FAA said in its final ruling

The FAA’s final rule mandates that these organizations develop a SMS within one to three years. The rule also addresses recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and independent review panels.  

“Requiring more aviation organizations to implement a proactive approach to managing safety will prevent accidents and save lives,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement.

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