FAA Requires Aviation Organizations to Detect, Address Safety Risks Early

Monday, April 22, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is issuing new requirements for charter airlines, commuter airlines, air tour operators, and certain aircraft manufacturers to implement a Safety Management System (SMS). 

SMS provides a means for a structured, repeatable, systematic approach to proactively identify hazards and manage safety risk. By incorporating SMS, these aviation organizations will be better able to develop and implement mitigations that are appropriate to their specific environment and operations.   

The FAA’s final rule mandates that these organizations develop a SMS within one to three years, depending on the operation. The FAA has required U.S. airlines to have SMS since 2018, and some manufacturers already developed and implemented SMS, which the FAA accepted. 

“Requiring more aviation organizations to implement a proactive approach to managing safety will prevent accidents and save lives,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said.  

The rule also requires those who have an SMS to share hazard information with other aviation organizations so they can work collaboratively to identify and address potential safety issues. 

The final rule goes beyond the requirements of the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act of 2020, which directed the FAA to mandate SMS only for aircraft manufacturers. The rule also addresses recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board and independent review panels.  

Read the final rule.