Internal SMS – FAA SMS and Safety Risk Management in Airport Projects

The FAA intends to implement SMS throughout the agency. The FAA's Airports organization established its SMS through Order 5200.11 and began implementing key components across the country in 2010.

To meet the requirements of safety risk management under the SMS, we will begin incorporating formalized safety risk management throughout our processes and procedures. This includes planning processes, approval processes, and the development of new standards like those depicted in FAA Advisory Circulars.

Under the Airports organization SMS, airport sponsors should expect to see formalized safety risk management incorporated into the planning and development processes for new airport projects. We will not require non-certificated airports to set up their own SMS, but we will require them to participate in the agency’s safety risk management process when planning and developing projects or changes on their airports. We will incorporate participation in this effort into the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) (see Chapter 3, Paragraph 3-88).

As FAA continues to develop and implement its internal SMS, we will update this website to include advisory guidance and policies applicable to the airport community.

Guidance Documents

SRM Facilitation

The Regional or Airports District Office project manager determines if an SRM panel will be convened for a given project. If so, the panel will need a facilitator. Facilitator services must not be provided by the design/planning consultant or directly by the airport using internal employees or others with a specific interest in the airport. However, the airport sponsor can acquire the facilitation services of an independent contractor for the project formulation process. The use of FAA Air Traffic Organization trained facilitators is also permissible.

Appendix F of the ARP SMS Desk Reference provides a guide for preparing consultant services scopes of work for airport planning and design/development services. Specific language should be tailored to the circumstances and requirements of the project and SRM.

In addition to those qualifications listed in section 1(b) of Appendix F, third party facilitators are expected to complete the ARP SMS Overview and ARP SRM Facilitator courses, which are available through the Integrated Distance Learning Environment (IDLE).

ARP encourages facilitators to use ARP's standard Safety Risk Management Panel Facilitation Briefing when conducting ARP-led SRM panel meetings. The briefing is meant to familiarize SRM panel members with the ARP SRM process. Not all SRM panel members will be familiar with the SRM 5-step risk assessment

Last updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024