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FAA Proposes Safety Management Systems for Airlines

FAA LogoThe FAA proposed a rule on Nov. 5 to require commercial air carriers to develop and implement a Safety Management System, which the proposal describes as “an organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls.” The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 requires that the agency has a final rule in place by July 30, 2012.

The proposal lists four essential components of a Safety Management System:

Safety Objectives

  • A safety policy that states safety objectives;
  • sets forth the policies, procedures, and organizational structures necessary to accomplish the objectives
  • clearly delineates management and employee responsibilities for safety throughout the organization.
  • regular review of the safety policy by a designated accountable executive

Assessment of Risk

Assessment of risk resulting from hazards and determination of what controls could reduce or eliminate those risks.

Safety Assurance

To ensure the organization meets or exceeds its safety objectives through the collection, analysis, and assessment of data regarding the organization’s performance, according to the proposal.

Safety Promotion

Should combine training and communication of safety information to employees.

FAA asked for comments by Feb. 3, 2011; submit them via www.regulations.gov, using Docket Number FAA- 2009-0671.

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