US DOT to require all U.S. airlines to implement SMS by 2018

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US DOT to require all U.S. airlines to implement SMS by 2018

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Jan 08, 2015

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2015 ... isks.html/

US DOT to require all U.S. commercial airlines to implement safety management systems by 2018 to reduce accident risks
Sheryl Jean
January 7, 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced a final rule requiring all U.S. commercial airlines to implement a safety management system by 2018 to reduce the risk of accidents.

“There’s never been a safer time to fly,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said today in a teleconference of a live news conference in Washington, D.C. “From 1998 to 2008, the fatality risk for U.S. commercial airline travel fell 83 percent.”

Yet, the industry can always do more, Foxx said. The DOT wants to see that fatality risk rate fall by 50 percent from 2010 through 2025, he said.

“We’re constantly striving to enhance safety and the system we have now, which is incredibly safe,” Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta said in the teleconference. “Our ultimate goal is to … prevent accidents from happening at all.”

Safety management systems (SMS) give airlines a set of business processes and management tools to examine data gathered from everyday operations, detect patterns in the data as early warning signs of an accident and take steps to reduce the risks.

The FAA studied 100 airplane accidents and found that if a safety management system had been in place, it could have reduced “many” of the accidents, Huerta said.

Federal regulators are not telling airlines how to meet the new requirement. However, U.S. commercial airlines must submit plan to the FAA within six months and name an executive to oversee their safety management system, Huerta said.

Already, more than 90 percent of U.S. airline operations are covered by some data sharing between each other and the FAA, officials said.

A safety management system does not replace regular FAA oversight, inspections and audit, but complements it, officials said. Already, more than 90 percent of U.S. airline operations are covered by some data sharing between each other and the FAA, they said.

The DOT and the FAA worked on the new rule in collaboration with the U.S. airline industry and other parties.

“The rules and programs being announced today are the next step in the never-ending process to improve safety,” said Nicholas Calio, CEO of the industry trade group Airlines for America. “We think it’s a very good program.”

Safety management systems are increasingly being adopted worldwide by air carriers, Foxx said.

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