Upgrading Your Airport’s Safety Management System to FAA/ICAO Specifications

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration intends to require 268 US airports holding Part 139 certificates to upgrade their Safety Management Systems to FAA/ICAO specifications. Proposed requirements were detailed in a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) published on July 14, 2016 and in a draft Advisory Circular AC 150/5200-37a. Both the SNPRM and the draft Advisory Circular are subject to a 60-day comment period ending September 12, 2016. After consideration of comments received, FAA is expected to issue the final regulation in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the SNPRM, the final regulation would apply to all large, medium and small-sized hub airports, to airports with 100,000 or more operations per year, and to airports of any size designated as international airports.

The goal of the regulation is to supplement compliance-based safety management with a proactive approach to hazard identification and safety risk management. Airports and their tenants and customers will benefit from an organizationwide approach to safety management. Such an approach empowers personnel to report situations that may constitute a threat to safe operations and to process information systematically, with the goal of preventing errors and accidents rather than reacting to them.

Safety management systems are based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act principles of internationally recognized environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. An SMS may be designed as a stand-alone management system or integrated with the aviation industry member’s existing operational or environmental management system.

Futurepast assists airports and airlines with the upgrading of their Safety Management Systems to meet the requirements of proposed federal regulations. We work closely with airport managers to ensure that the SMS you design and implement is compatible with your management culture and integrates seamlessly with your existing management systems.

Based on your requirements, Futurepast consultants will help you establish the SMS as a stand-alone system or one that integrates with your other management system practices and procedures. We will also assist you with the upgrading and streamlining of existing management system practices and the selection and implementation of software solutions, if desired.

Futurepast consultants have years of aviation and management system experience. We are associate members of Airports Council International-North America and corporate members of the American Association of Airport Executives. Our consultants serve you from offices in Arlington, VA, and Spokane, WA.

For information about Futurepast’s services, please call 888-358-9047 (toll-free in the US and Canada) and speak to a Futurepast consultant today.


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