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Understanding FAA SMS Logic & Principles

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FAA SMS Background Information

FAA SMS principles focus on a systematic approach to managing aviation safety for airlines and airports. FAA SMS tenets incorporate the necessary organizational structure, accountabilities, policies, procedures and business processes. FAA SMS follows closely the ICAO aviation safety management requirements. FAA SMS should also include provisions that organizations must establish clear lines of aviation safety accountability throughout the airport or airline organization, which must extend up to senior management levels.

FAA SMS tools to satisfy airport and airline FAA SMS requirements Aviation organizations that fall under FAA SMS guidelines, whether they are large or small, share all the same requirements of aviation SMS management. FAA SMS requirements will cover airlines, airports, maintenance repair and overhaul and fixed based operators. Managers of these aviation organizations will continue to focus on their existing tasks, such as financing, budgeting, communicating and allocating resources, and so forth. Managing aviation safety under the FAA SMS requirements will also be added to their existing list of business processes.

Managing aviation safety is performed in much the same was as other traditional business processes. Aviation SMS training is essential for responsible personnel, including aviation safety managers and/or aviation safety officers (however you like to call these safety professionals). Aviation SMS training that cover the FAA SMS requirements should include all other staff involved with the aviation SMS implementation.

FAA SMS Formal Adoption Slower Than Most

One important note is that FAA SMS principles must adhere to the ICAO requirements. The FAA SMS regulations are further behind than many other countries. Australia and Canada are known to have embraced aviation SMS requirements more fully than aviation service providers under the FAA SMS sphere of influence. Airports in the U.S. appear to be progressing much more quickly on their FAA SMS implementations.