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Safety Assurance System (SAS)

What is SAS?

The Safety Assurance System (SAS) is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) oversight tool to perform certification, surveillance, and continued operational safety. SAS includes policy, processes, and associated software that Flight Standards Service (FS) uses to capture data when conducting oversight. SAS is not a separate safety standard and does not impose additional requirements on certificate holders. SAS helps accomplish the following objectives:

  • Standardizes the work being accomplished across FS
  • Improves consistency and collaboration between FAA and industry
  • Helps FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASIs) determine risk-based, data-supported oversight decisions
  • Determines hazard identification and risk assessment strategies to formulate surveillance plans and where to focus FAA resources
  • Provides the standardized protocols to evaluate whether Certificate Holder operations are in compliance with regulations

We encourage you to review What is SAS? – An Overview for Certificate Holders and Applicants (PDF) to learn more about SAS. In this presentation, you will learn basic information about SAS and receive an overview of focus areas and safety attributes within SAS, the SAS oversight model, and the external portal.

Additional Information about SAS

The Safety Assurance System (SAS) is not a separate safety standard and does not impose additional requirements on certificate holders. The SAS policy and procedure provide aviation safety inspectors (ASI) with standardized protocols to evaluate certificate holder programs required by regulations to be approved or accepted. SAS implements FAA policy by providing safety controls (i.e., regulations and their application) of business organizations and individuals that fall under FAA regulations. Under SAS our primary responsibilities are:

  • Verify an applicant can operate safety and comply with regulations and standards before issuing a certificate and approving or accepting programs.
  • Conduct periodic reviews to verify that a certificate holder continues to meet regulatory requirements when the environment changes: and
  • Validate the performance of a certificate holder’s approved and accepted programs for the purpose of Continued Operational Safety (COS).

The goal of system safety is to optimize safety by the identification of hazards within an environment and to eliminate or control their associated risk. We do this by performing Design Assessments (DA) and Performance Assessments (PA) based on system safety principals. Certificate holders fulfill their responsibilities by designing operations systems that manage hazard-related risks and by providing service with the highest degree of safety in the public interest. These concepts are fundamental to SAS. SAS is based on system safety principles, Safety Attributes and risk management process (RMP).

  • Element Design Assessments (EDAs) are used to ensure a certificate holder’s or applicant’s operating systems are designed to comply with the intent of regulations and system safety.
  • Performance Assessments (PA) are used to determine if the certificate holder’s or applicant’s operating systems are producing the intended results, as well as to confirm the certificate holder’s or applicant’s risk assessment is occurring through their monitoring process and they are taking appropriate corrective action when needed. This includes mitigation or control of hazards and risks and the ability to detect latent, systemic failures that may occur over time or due to subtle environmental changes.

For more information on SAS, please see 8900.1 Volume 10 of FSIMS (Flight Standards Information Management System). With SAS Content selected in the drop down box for 8900.1 Contents field.

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