The FAA is considering the development of Safety Management System (SMS) regulations for entities for which the agency has regulatory oversight responsibility.


The FAA Office of Airports initiated SMS rulemaking activity in 2010. Please refer to the FAA SMS for Airports website for further information, including links to the SMS for Certificated Airports Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

Aerospace Product & Service Providers

The FAA, through its Office of Aviation Safety (AVS), envisions that aerospace product/service provider organizations will integrate a systematic risk-based and process-oriented approach to managing safety into their operations and management. Methods include changes to necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. The FAA is considering SMS rulemaking actions to further enhance the practice of managing safety and oversight of that management. Such an approach stresses not only compliance with technical standards, but increases emphasis on those management systems that ensure risk management and safety assurance.

By FAA Order 1110.152, the FAA established the SMS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). The SMS ARC was chartered to provide recommendations to the FAA on the development and implementation of SMS regulations and guidance for aeronautical product/service providers.

On July 23, 2009, the FAA Office of Aviation Safety issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) (74 FR 36414) requesting public comments on an SMS rulemaking that would require certain 14 CFR Part 21, 119, 121, 125, 135, 141, 142, and 145 certificate holders, product manufacturers, applicants, and employers to develop and implement SMS. The public comment period closed on October 21, 2009.

The FAA withdrew the ANPRM by Notice published on March 17, 2011 (76 FR 14592), as the agency moved forward with individual SMS rulemakings addressing different types of aerospace product and service providers separately. The ANPRM, supporting materials, all public comments submitted, and the withdrawal Notice are available at under Docket No. FAA-2009-0671.

The FAA Office of Aviation Safety issued an NPRM addressing Safety Management Systems for Part 121 Certificate Holders on October 29, 2010 (75 FR 68224). The proposal would add a new part 5 to title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), creating the general framework for an SMS that a part 121 air carrier may adapt to fit the needs of its operation. It would also modify title 14 CFR part 119 to specify applicability and implementation of the new SMS framework in part 5 for aircraft operators certificated under part 121. This is the first NPRM published following ARC and FAA review of public comments submitted in response to the ANPRM.

Documents associated with this NPRM are also filed under Docket No. FAA-2009-0671.

Agency Rulemaking Documents

Rulemaking Action Date Issued Applicable Regulations Status Docket ID
SMS ANPRM 6/23/2009 14 CFR parts 21, 119, 121, 125, 135, 141, 142, and 145 Withdrawal of ANPRM published March 17, 2011 (76 FR 14592). FAA-2009-0671
SMS for Certificated Airports NPRM 10/17/2010 14 CFR part 139 Public comment period closed on July 5, 2011. FAA-2010-0997
SMS for Part 121 Certificate Holders NPRM 10/29/2010 14 CFR parts 5 and 119 Public comment period closed on March 7, 2011. FAA-2009-0671