FAA Working (Slowly) on SMS for Airports

Source: Aviation International News » April 2014

by  Paul Lowe

April 2, 2014, 12:25 AM

FAA Working (Slowly) on SMS for Airports

Never renowned for its ability to fast-track rulemaking, the FAA might be gunning for a new record.

It has been nearly a decade since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced an amendment to its aviation rulemaking to require member states to have certified international airports establish a safety management system (SMS). The FAA has said it supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with ICAO standards and recommended practices.

ICAO issued its first SMS directive to its member nations in 2005. It required these countries to mandate SMS implementation for a number of operators, including air carriers, repair stations and international general aviation in large and jet aircraft, by Jan. 1, 2009.

Even then, knowing its own track record on rulemaking, the FAA filed “differences” with ICAO, a process by which nations can postpone implementation of some ICAO regulations. Those differences are published in the form of supplements.

According to the FAA, it intends to implement SMS at U.S. airports in a way that complements the requirements of Part 139, Certification of Airports. The FAA said it is now considering the best way to introduce an SMS requirement to the more than 540 U.S. airports certified under Part 139. The notification of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for certified airports was issued on Oct. 7, 2010. The agency accepted comments on the proposed SMS rule through July 5, 2011.

The FAA said it received “many helpful comments and insights on benefits and costs” from the public in response to the October 2010 NPRM. “The FAA carefully considered these comments, and in light of the information received, the FAA decided to modify our proposal and provide another opportunity for public comments on the modifications through our SNPRM [supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking] process,” the agency explained.

On Dec. 10, 2012, the Department of Transportation posted its monthly Significant Rulemaking Report for that month. The December 2012 report amends the next stage for the Airport Safety Management System rulemaking (Docket Number FAA-2010-0997) as a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

While the SNPRM is currently under development, the agency anticipates offering changes to the rule’s applicability and some proposed requirements. Specifically, the FAA is evaluating several options for SMS at various classes of Part 139 certified airports to improve the implementation of SMS. The FAA is considering changes to SMS implementation and some SMS elements to reduce the burden on an airport implementing SMS.

More than 30 certified airports are already developing and implementing SMS. Safety experts worldwide view SMS as the next major step to improve safety in aviation. The FAA is encouraging all certificated airports to develop an SMS voluntarily. The FAA will continue to make Airport Improvement Program funds available to commercial airport sponsors for eligible airport SMS-related costs.

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GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE RENEWS ACSF SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP

ACSF Logo

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Bryan Burns
President
888-723-3135
bburns@acsf.aero

GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE RENEWS ACSF SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP 

Alexandria, VA,  March 27, 2014 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to recognize Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation for its continued sustaining membership. The company has shown its commitment to the foundation’s vision of enhancing and improving safety through its generous financial support.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,200 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. The company employs more than 14,000 people at 12 major locations.

“Gulfstream is excited to continue to partner with the Air Charter Safety Foundation as a sustaining member, to further the mission and vision of the foundation,” said Gulfstream Aviation Safety Officer Tom Huff. “As a business aircraft manufacturer and world-wide service provider, it made perfect sense to continue as a sustaining member to further safety of air charter and fractional ownership flight operations.”

“The continued and generous support of Gulfstream enables the foundation to carry out its mission,” said ACSF President Bryan Burns. “We are extremely pleased that they share our vision to achieve the highest levels of safety in the industry.”

For further information, go to www.acsf.aero.

#      #       #

“The vision of the ACSF is to enable on-demand charter providers and fractional program managers to achieve the highest levels of safety in the aviation industry. This goal will be achieved through:

  • Promotion of risk management programs,
  • The adoption of one common industry audit standard,
  • Dissemination of safety information and,
  • Creation of additional programs that advance the goals of the foundation.”

ACSF ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBER – Thomas Miller

                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Bryan Burns
President
888-723-3135
bburns@acsf.aero

ACSF ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBER 

Alexandria, VA,  March 19, 2014 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to announce the selection of Thomas Miller, Director of Operations and Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Gama Charters, Inc. to the ACSF Board of Governors.

Mr. Miller holds undergraduate degrees in both mechanical engineering and air transportation management, and a Juris Doctor degree. He is licensed to practice law in Connecticut, the Federal Court system, and the District of Columbia. Prior to working with Gama, Miller practiced business and aviation law while concurrently working as a Learjet pilot. He has been employed as a pilot by Gama Charters since 1985. He was promoted to chief pilot in 1992, and to director of operations in 1996.

Mr. Miller was instrumental in the ISO 9001-2008, ACSF, FAA SMS pilot program, and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) registrations for the company. He is both a fixed- and rotor-wing qualified pilot, and has more than 11,000 hours as pilot-in-command in Learjet, Westwind, Citation, Gulfstream, BAC 111 and DC-9 aircraft, and numerous turbine-powered helicopters.

“I am honored to be appointed to the ACSF Board of Governors,” said Miller.  “Gama Charters is proud to be one of the high-quality operators that strive to enhance our level of safety through the accomplishment of the ACSF audit process, the most comprehensive in our industry.”

“Tom’s knowledge, experience and leadership in the aviation industry will help support and sustain the foundation’s ongoing and future safety activities,” said ACSF President Bryan Burns.

#      #       #

“The vision of the ACSF is to enable on-demand charter providers and fractional program managers to achieve the highest levels of safety in the aviation industry. This goal will be achieved through:

  • Promotion of risk management programs,
  • The adoption of one common industry audit standard,
  • Dissemination of safety information and,
  • Creation of additional programs that advance the goals of the foundation.”

 

NBAA Safety Committee Identifies Top Safety Focus Areas for 2014

NBAA Press Release

Washington, DC, March 5, 2014

For the second consecutive year, the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) Safety Committee has published a list of recommended safety priorities for the business aviation industry. The list is intended to promote safety-focused discussion and advocacy among NBAA Members and the business aviation industry.

The list of NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas for 2014 is (in no particular order):

  • Professionalism
  • Positive Safety Culture
  • Single-Pilot Safety
  • Fitness for Duty
  • Airport Safety
  • Airmanship Skills
  • Distraction Management
  • Public Policy
  • Talent Pipeline
  • Technology Management

The committee developed the list with input from many of NBAA’s other standing committees, as well as from the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Advisory Committee and regional business aviation groups.

The list is first intended to serve as a conversation starter. “We want to start having discussions in our various spheres of influence on what each of these topics means on a personal basis,” said NBAA Safety Committee Chairman Eric Barfield. “But perhaps more importantly, we want to provoke a meaningful discussion among colleagues within the flight department and with the corporate office. It’s a conversation that goes both up and down the chain of command.”

The list also will serve to guide the Safety Committee’s work in support of safety advocacy for the year to come, providing a useful framework for developing future NBAA resources and education efforts in the coming months.

“Sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to business aviation safety,” Barfield said. “We’re trying to educate them on those areas, as well as point out tools to help them continuously improve their safety processes and outcomes.”

First published in 2013 under the moniker “Top 10 Safety Focus Areas,” this year’s list was renamed to recognize the diversity within business aviation and give equal weight to all items listed. “This is no longer a prioritized list of concerns. Everybody has different priorities,” said Barfield. “Instead, these are key areas where the committee believes more discussion is warranted.”

The 2014 topics themselves are largely unchanged from 2013. Where changes to the list were introduced, they typically served to enhance or expand on topics and focus area descriptions from the previous year.

For example, “fatigue” is now aligned under a larger “fitness for duty” umbrella along with aeromedical issues and the growing concern with improper use of over-the-counter medications. ”Distraction management” is a new topic encompassing not only task saturation and situational awareness, but also distractions created by pressures stemming from the home and office. “Airmanship skills” and “airport safety” remain on the list, but have been expanded in scope.

Review NBAA’s Top Safety Focus Areas.
Learn more about the NBAA Safety Committee.

Civil Aviation Authority Safety Review for Offshore Rotor Operations

In September 2013, following a number of incidents involving offshore helicopter operations, the UK CAA, in conjunction with EASA and the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, conducted a safety review. The review examined the risks and hazards of operating in the North Sea and considered how these could be managed more effectively.

This comprehensive analysis of North Sea helicopter operations and safety performance proposes a series of actions and makes a number of important recommendations for the industry. The focus is now on managing the changes arising from the report in a considered and systematic way.

Although focused on oil and gas operations in the North Sea, the Review has indirect relevance for offshore Search and Rescue (SAR) too and will arguably be of interest to other offshore oil and gas locations around the world.

The Review contains 32 Actions which the UK CAA have committed to but more widely 29 Recommendations. Of these, 13 are to EASA, 12 to the Helicopter Industry (AOC Holders, MROs, ATOs and manufacturers), 3 to the oil and gas industry and one collectively to all three of these

Read the full report

Sun Air Jets completes safety hat trick

Sun Air Jets completes safety hat trick

Sun Air Jets has completed three major safety audits in the last four months. They were the Executive Jet Management, the International Standards-Business Aircraft Operations, and the Air Charter Safety Foundation audits.

 

Full story

Metro Aviation takes safety to the next level

So

urce: Metro Aviation, February 21 2014

MetroAviation

 

Metro Aviation takes safety to the next level

Metro AviationMetro Aviation recently achieved Level IV of the FAA’s Safety Management System (SMS) Pilot Project. Level IV is the highest level of the program, and Metro Aviation is one of only three organizations in the United States operating under 14 CFR 135 rules to achieve this milestone.  The Program provides a four level system to acknowledge development of a formal SMS that meets FAA expectations and ICAO international standards.

Safety, Quality and Customer Service have been the hallmarks of Metro Aviation for more than 30 years and achieving Level IV reinforces Metro’s commitment to the highest level of safety.

“Metro Aviation has consistently gone beyond the traditional regulatory minimums and the goal of our SMS is to establish a level of safety in our organization that continues to set new standards,” said Metro Aviation Director of Safety Tarek Loutfy.

In addition to implementing SMS, Metro Aviation has embraced safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to helicopter operators including the newly released Safety Alert on the use of simulators.  Metro has provided simulator training to its pilots for more than 5 years and is now a resource for others in the industry.

Metro is also committed to establishing an active SMS for their Part 145 Repair Station.  “The SMS will provide a uniform way of handling maintenance safety practices and procedures to ensure that all employees and management are on the same page,” said Managing Director Milton Geltz.

Metro Aviation voluntarily signed up to participate in the FAA’s program in 2010.  Although they have now achieved the highest level in the program, Metro will continue to research hazards and implement solutions in an effort to operate in the safest way possible

FAA Issues EMS Rule, Includes Additional Helicopter Operations

Source: Rotor News, Helicopter Association International (HAI) Feb 21 2014

 

FAA Issues EMS Rule, Includes Additional Helicopter Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalized a rule requiring stronger safety measures for helicopter operators, including air ambulances. Changes include equipment, training and operational requirements, and all HAI members are strongly encouraged to review the rule.

The rule is primarily directed toward air ambulance operations, but also addresses commercial helicopter and general aviation helicopter operations, implementing new operational procedures and additional equipment requirements. Additionally, the rule revises requirements for equipment, pilot testing, and alternative airports as well as increasing weather minimums for all general aviation helicopter operations under Part 91 in Class G airspace.

For helicopter air ambulances, the rule requires operations with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 operating rules and introduces new weather minimums and visibility requirements for Part 135 operations. It mandates flight planning, preflight risk analyses, safety briefings for medical personnel, and the establishment of operations control centers (OCC) for certain operators to help with risk management and flight monitoring. The rule also includes provisions to encourage instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. It requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with both helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems. In addition, helicopter air ambulance pilots will be required to hold instrument ratings.

For all helicopters operated under Part 135, these rules require that operators carry more survival equipment for operations over water. Alternate airports named in flight plans must have higher weather minimums than are currently required. These helicopters must be equipped with radio altimeters and pilots must be able to demonstrate that they can maneuver the aircraft during an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) to get out of those conditions safely. As mentioned above, the rule assigns new weather minimums to part 91 helicopter operations in Class G airspace.

The following represents a summary of affected entities:

Part 135 All Rotorcraft Operators:
Requires each rotorcraft to be equipped with a radio altimeter ( Section 135.160)
Adds Section 135.168 equipment requirements for rotorcraft operated over water. Helicopter operations conducted over water will be required to carry additional safety equipment to assist passengers and crew in the event an accident occurs over water.

Revised alternate airport weather minimums for rotorcraft in Section 135.221. This rule improves the likelihood of being able to land at the alternate airport if weather conditions in the area deteriorate while the helicopter is en route.

Revises Section 135.293 to require pilot testing of rotorcraft handling in flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions and demonstration of competency in recovery from an IIMC.

Part 135 Helicopter Air Ambulance:
Requires helicopter air ambulance flights with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 (Section 135.1, 135.601).

Requires certificate holders with 10 or more helicopter air ambulances to establish operations control centers (OCC) (Section 135.619) and requires drug and alcohol testing for operations control specialists (Section 120.105 and 120.215).

Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with HTAWS (Section 135.605).

Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with a flight data monitoring system (Section 135.607).

Requires each helicopter air ambulance operator to establish and document, in its operations manual, an FAA-approved preflight risk analysis (Section 135.617).

Requires pilots to identify and document the highest obstacle along the planned route (Section 135.615).

Requires safety briefings or training for helicopter air ambulance medical personnel (Section 135.621).

Establishes visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums for helicopter air ambulance operations (Section 135.609).

Permits instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at airports without weather reporting (Section 135.611).

Establishes procedures for transitioning between IFR and VFR on approach to, and departure from, heliports or landing areas (Section 135.613).

Requires pilots in commend to hold an instrument rating (Section 135.603).

The rule is primarily directed toward air ambulance operations, but also addresses commercial helicopter and general aviation helicopter operations, implementing new operational procedures and additional equipment requirements. Additionally, the rule revises requirements for equipment, pilot testing, and alternative airports as well as increasing weather minimums for all general aviation helicopter operations under Part 91 in Class G airspace.

For helicopter air ambulances, the rule requires operations with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 operating rules and introduces new weather minimums and visibility requirements for Part 135 operations. It mandates flight planning, preflight risk analyses, safety briefings for medical personnel, and the establishment of operations control centers (OCC) for certain operators to help with risk management and flight monitoring. The rule also includes provisions to encourage instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. It requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with both helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems. In addition, helicopter air ambulance pilots will be required to hold instrument ratings.

For all helicopters operated under Part 135, these rules require that operators carry more survival equipment for operations over water. Alternate airports named in flight plans must have higher weather minimums than are currently required. These helicopters must be equipped with radio altimeters and pilots must be able to demonstrate that they can maneuver the aircraft during an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) to get out of those conditions safely. As mentioned above, the rule assigns new weather minimums to part 91 helicopter operations in Class G airspace.

The following represents a summary of affected entities:

  • Part 135 All Rotorcraft Operators:
    Requires each rotorcraft to be equipped with a radio altimeter ( Section 135.160)
    Adds Section 135.168 equipment requirements for rotorcraft operated over water. Helicopter operations conducted over water will be required to carry additional safety equipment to assist passengers and crew in the event an accident occurs over water.
  • Revised alternate airport weather minimums for rotorcraft in Section 135.221. This rule improves the likelihood of being able to land at the alternate airport if weather conditions in the area deteriorate while the helicopter is en route.
  • Revises Section 135.293 to require pilot testing of rotorcraft handling in flat-light, whiteout, and brownout conditions and demonstration of competency in recovery from an IIMC.
  • Part 135 Helicopter Air Ambulance:
    Requires helicopter air ambulance flights with medical personnel on board to be conducted under Part 135 (Section 135.1, 135.601).
  • Requires certificate holders with 10 or more helicopter air ambulances to establish operations control centers (OCC) (Section 135.619) and requires drug and alcohol testing for operations control specialists (Section 120.105 and 120.215).
  • Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with HTAWS (Section 135.605).
  • Requires helicopter air ambulances to be equipped with a flight data monitoring system (Section 135.607).
  • Requires each helicopter air ambulance operator to establish and document, in its operations manual, an FAA-approved preflight risk analysis (Section 135.617).
  • Requires pilots to identify and document the highest obstacle along the planned route (Section 135.615).
  • Requires safety briefings or training for helicopter air ambulance medical personnel (Section 135.621).
  • Establishes visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums for helicopter air ambulance operations (Section 135.609).
  • Permits instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at airports without weather reporting (Section 135.611).
  • Establishes procedures for transitioning between IFR and VFR on approach to, and departure from, heliports or landing areas (Section 135.613).
  • Requires pilots in commend to hold an instrument rating (Section 135.603).

What is a Fatigue Risk Management System, really?

Source:

Sextant Readings Solutions Jeppesen logo high resFatigue Risk Management tools that make a difference.

What is a Fatigue Risk Management System, really?

The two volumes of ICAO FRM guidance material are quite comprehensive documents of some 150 pages each. Some safety professionals find it difficult to fully embrace the concept of FRMS after reading them. For this reason we at Jeppesen have produced a one-page concise simplification you might find useful. Please find it through this link. Enjoy!

Jeppesen FRMS Poster