Final Rule for Airline Safety Systems Released By FAA

FAA Administration issued a final regulation that requires most of the US passenger and cargo airlines to implement a safety management system (SMS) by the year 2018.All Airlines must submit their SMS plans to FAA within six months after the date of issue.
According to the final rule at the Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C., FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said SMS is an organisation wide approach to minimising risks in airline operations those analyses data to proactively predict accident causes. More than 90 percent US airlines have shared some level of data with the agency and participated in voluntary SMS programme. Among requirements of the final regulation, airlines must appoint a “single accountable executive” to oversee their SMS programs. “What it does is foster a stronger safety culture,” said Huerta.

During a press conference, Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio said “many of the trade association’s member airlines have implemented SMS pilot programs in the past couple of years. “Airlines are fierce competitors—everybody knows that—except on safety,” Calio said. “We think it’s a very good program.”

According to the copy of the final rule, that will published in the Federal Register on January 8, the FAA’s accident investigation office singled out 123 accidents involving Part 121 air carriers between Fiscal Years 2001 and 2010 “for which identified causal factors could have been mitigated if air carriers had implemented an SMS to identify hazards in their operations and developed methods to control the risk.”
Congress required the FAA to develop a rule requiring all Part 121 air carriers to implement an SMS program—originally by July 30, 2012—in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. While applying to U.S. carriers, the rule will also serve as a “best practice” example for foreign carriers within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Huerta said.

The FAA estimates that the rule will cost them $224.3 million over 10 years, or $135.1 million at present to implement. It is also offering the airlines federally develop software system to begin. The system will cost FAA $2.6 million per year for maintenance .

Susweta Bose  [Masters in Mass Comm ] 
Sub Editor