“Safety management systems aren’t just the latest fad for corporate flight departments,” Daedalus Aviation Services president David Bjellos told the nearly 450 attendees yesterday at the 53rd Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar (CASS), held this year in Palm Harbor, Fla. In fact, SMSs could be a requirement for entry into some foreign countries starting in 2010, per ICAO Annex 6 section 3.2.4, noted FAA SMS program coordinator Rick Krens.
Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US) has released an audit recommendations report after finishing a review of its 2007 on-site safety audit results. The report, based on the findings of 67 audits completed over the past 15 months, examines both safety management systems and emergency response planning.
“If I talk to ten people, I get ten different versions of what they believe an SMS [Safety Management System] is,” FAA associate administrator of aviation safety Nick Sabatini told attendees at the fourth FAA International Aviation Safety Forum.
The new TopFlight satellite data unit (SDU) from Thales is small, light and affordable enough to bring satellite communications to single-aisle and regional airliners.
In another effort to help reduce accidents, NATA is developing a ground-incident safety management system (SMS) that it hopes will merge data on ground-handling accidents from as many as 500 FBOs within two years. Though NATA president James Coyne estimates that such accidents cause $100 million in damage claims annually, there is no data readily available on the details.
Safety Management Systems (SMSs), popular in other industries for years, are coming to aviation because regulatory authorities, safety experts and industry leaders have proclaimed that SMS represents the future of safety management in our industry. Other countries have been working with safety management systems for years, and the SMS is now gaining traction in the U.S.
Middle East air passengers can soon look forward to using their personal cell phones in flight. Mobile phone technology specialist OnAir of Geneva, Switzerland, will begin tests on the commercial use of mobile phones aboard TAP Portugal Airbus A321s later this year. According to OnAir CEO George Cooper, Gulf state airlines will likely be among the first to offer the service.
The FAA released Notice 8700.49, effective October 11, to guide FAA inspectors in helping operators develop Safety Management Systems (SMS). An SMS advisory circular–AC 120-92–was released on June 22, and since then the FAA has promoted the SMS concept industry-wide, at meetings such as the Bombardier Safety Standdown in early October and the Nascar race team SMS Safety Summit on October 20.
An SMS, the AC stated, “is essentially a quality-management approach to controlling risk.” There are both safety and business benefits to implementing SMSs, including development of a sound safety culture and its integration into operators’ business models. The AC includes a uniform standards template for developing SMSs.
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