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SMS tool kit to assist operators address mandatory regulatory requirements

April 16, 2008, Montreal - Business aviation associations from around the world have announced a new program to assist operators implement Safety Management Systems (SMS).


April 16, 2008
By Corrie


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April 16, 2008, Montreal – Business aviation associations from around the world have announced a new program to assist operators implement Safety Management Systems (SMS). SMS is central to modern thinking in aviation safety; it is being progressively introduced into regulations in response to global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The new Tool Kit will be of immediate interest to commercial fixed-wing and rotary-wing operators, the first sectors to be impacted by the new regulatory requirements.

The new SMS Tool Kit (SMS TK) builds on the industry’s successful “code of practice”, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) introduced in 2002. Rui Thomaz de Aquino, Chairman of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), advised that “given our long and positive experience with SMS over the past eight years we can now provide assistance to operators who have not yet introduced SMS into their operations”.

The new Tool Kit will assist both non-commercial and commercial operators. Flight departments implementing the gold standard IS-BAO program will find the SMS TK a valuable aid to optimize the safety benefits. Commercial on-demand charter operators facing new regulatory requirements will find that the Kit provides a step by step program for implementing the new safety provision. Claude Probst, Head of Regulations for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in briefings to industry, advised that “we are implementing performance based rules that state a requirement for an SMS, but we are leaving it to the industry to develop the guidance material detailing how it is to be done”.

Business aviation associations formed a group of safety specialists to develop the stand-alone SMS TK to be responsive to rule requirements of regulations from around the world. Aquino points out that “the Tool Kit provides operators with a common sense and systematic methodology”. Associations continue to encourage operators to implement the successful gold standard IS-BAO, but for those operators who wish only to implement SMS to satisfy regulations, the Tool Kit will provide the guidance. The program is planned to be available to operators in October 2008.

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Chairman Aquino concludes that the SMS TK “will give operators the guidance they need to not only satisfy new regulatory requirements but to fully benefit from the considerable safety benefits inherent in SMS programs”.

“This is a perfect example of how the professional associations can support members in delivering safety and meeting regulatory requirements by taking advantage of best practice available across the industry”, added Eric Mandemaker CEO of EBAA. “We are delighted to be working with IBAC on this important initiative to enable members to do this as effectively and affordably as possible.”


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