Current FAA oversight processes have contributed to an outstanding safety record. As we strive to make the skies as safe as possible and anticipate future needs and challenges, the FAA must re-evaluate its approach to safety oversight. To best target oversight priorities and FAA’s oversight resources, the FAA is transitioning to a risk-based, data-supported oversight system.

To support Flight Standards (AFS) through this transition, AFS established the System Approach for Safety Oversight (SASO) Program Office (PO) to develop and implement a comprehensive system safety approach to the oversight of aviation entities. The goal is to improve safety beyond current levels by enhancing our risk-based, data-supported approach.

The AFS Safety Assurance System (SAS) is the combination of people, processes, and technology that will be AFS’ safety assurance capability. In 2015, the AFS SAS will be the new oversight system for 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 121, 135 and 145. Ultimately, SAS will be used for other applicable CFR parts.

SAS is being designed in 3 phases. It is broken down as such because of the scope and size of this initiative. There are approximately 7300 certificates within the United States – and no two are exactly alike – SAS will have the ability to meet the needs for many of the FAR parts.

A Safety Management System has four components. They are: Safety Policy, Safety Risk Management, Safety Promotion and Safety Assurance. SAS will be the Safety Assurance component of the internal AFS SMS.

What is SASO specifically?

SASO is the System Approach to Safety Oversight – it is a program office. SAS is a product.

What does the SASO PO do?

Using the phased approach shared above, the SASO PO plans and implements the SAS – AFS’ future oversight system for 14 CFR parts.
SAS Phase I – research and development of SAS
SAS Phase II “Alpha”

  • Scheduled for full deployment in 2014 through 2015
  • Includes 14 CFR parts 121, 135 and 145

SAS Phase II “Beta”

  • Scheduled for design and development from 2016 to 2021 to incorporate:
    • Certificate Holder “Risk Profile”;  assist in risk assessments, similar to a credit score or model
    • Activity Recording; incorporate all work recording activity into SAS
    • Develop an Office Work List (OWL); to highlight all work that takes place in a field, regional, or headquarters office
    • Industry Collaboration; safety tools and information sharing between FAA and industry
    • Consolidated Repair Station Assessments; Develop a more efficient oversight process for Repair Stations
    • Incorporate the Certification Service Oversight Process (CSOP) into SAS
    • Incorporate 14 CFR Parts 141, 142, 147, and 183 Oversight into or interface with SAS
  • Maintain Safety Assurance System (SAS)

Why was the SASO PO created?

For two main reasons:

  • To integrate system safety into our oversight processes and develop the tools to support them.
  • To ensure we continue to maintain our safety record in a world of increased air traffic and static budgets.

What work does the SASO PO do?

The SASO PO works in four main areas:

  1. Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) – Redesign of current oversight processes and integrate system safety principles within these processes.
  2. Systems Alignment – Ensure tools and technologies are designed in support of these oversight processes.
  3. Enterprise Architecture (EA) – Integrate the tools and processes into the AVS-wide enterprise management.
  4. Change Management (CM) – Apply structured processes and tools to manage the people side of change from the current state to the future state so that the desired results of the change are achieved.

What is the SASO PO doing now?

  • SAS is fully operational at all Field and Regional Offices
  • Nearing the completion of the fourteen AFS-500/900 SAS training courses
  • Sponsoring and conducting SAS User Forums; solicit feedback and input to assist in continual improvement
  • Assisting the coordination of SAS continual improvement with AFS-900 Continual Improvement Program Office (CIPO) through the SAS Assistance, Feedback, and Enhancement (SAFE) process
  • Practicing and implementing Change Management; Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR) activities
  • Engaging in transition activities to sun-set the SAS Transition and Readiness Team (START) to a standard operational posture
  • Reviewing the automation in its production environment and coordinating with all active AFS personnel to ensure the automation is an effective support tool
  • Planning and preparing for SASO Phase II Beta

Mohammad Wasique
Manager, SASO Program Office
45005 Aviation Drive, Suite 240
Dulles, VA  20120

Phone: (703) 661-0581