- Safety Management Systems for Aviation Service Providers
- Date issued
- Office of Primary Responsibility
This advisory circular (AC) provides information for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 air carriers that are required to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS) based on 14 CFR part 5. Specifically, this document provides a description of regulatory requirements, guidance, and methods of developing and implementing an SMS. This AC may also be used by other aviation service providers interested in voluntarily developing an SMS based on the requirements in part 5.
An SMS is an organization-wide comprehensive and preventive approach to managing safety. An SMS includes a safety policy, formal methods for identifying hazards and mitigating risk, and promotion of a positive safety culture. An SMS also provides assurance of the overall safety performance of your organization. An SMS is intended to be designed and developed by your own people and should be integrated into your existing operations and business decisionmaking processes. The SMS will assist your organization’s leadership, management teams, and employees in making effective and informed safety decisions.
Part 5 specifies a basic set of processes integral to an effective SMS but does not specify particular methods for implementing these processes. In other words, the regulation defines "what" must be accomplished, not "how" it must be accomplished. This AC provides additional guidance on how the SMS may be developed to achieve the safety performance objectives outlined by your organization. As is demonstrated by this AC, there is no one-size-fits-all method for complying with the requirements of part 5. This design is intentional, in that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects each air carrier to develop an SMS that works for its unique operation. Thus, this AC provides guidance regarding designing and implementing acceptable methods of compliance with the requirements of part 5. These methods, however, are not the only means of compliance.