The FAA ensures compliance with dangerous goods requirements through safety oversight activities. The FAA defines oversight as assuring that aviation organizations and designees comply with and use safety-related standards, regulations, and associated procedures. FAA oversight is evolving to a risk-based management approach that embraces many interdependent principles, including Risk Based Decision Making, Safety Management Systems (SMS), our Compliance Program, and voluntary safety reporting programs (VDRP) (PDF). FAA Order 2150.3C (PDF) relates the Compliance and Enforcement Program to the overall mission and job function of the Agency.
Data collection tools, utilized by Hazardous Materials Aviation Safety Inspectors (HMASIs), evaluate a certificate holder, operator or applicant's operating systems to identify systemic safety or regulatory concerns. The information further contributes to the assessment of a certificate holder, operator or applicant's system performance and design. Data collection tools include, but are not limited to, review of elements such as:
- Dangerous Goods training and qualifications, encompassing flightcrews, flight operations support personnel, maintenance providers and/or stores, flight attendants, and cargo and station personnel;
- The acceptance and rejection of dangerous goods cargo, both on and off airport, small packages, ticket counter/passenger baggage, and inbound international shipments;
- The handling, loading, and storage of dangerous goods at cargo facilities, onboard aircraft, and interline shipments;
- Dangerous Goods company material (COMAT) shipping;
- Dangerous Goods Manual management; and
- Cabin dangerous goods procedures and handling