First Phase Completed In Seven Months
Air medical services provider Omniflight Helicopters says it
has completed Level 1 of the FAA’s Safety Management System
(SMS) program, and has now started on Level 2.
Omniflight calls its SMS participation a natural extension of
its “true safety-first culture.” The company, which
operates some 100 rotor and fixed-wing aircraft nationally, from 77
bases in 18 states, completed the first phase in just seven months.
Omniflight said the SMS program is helping to build on its existing
proactive safety efforts.
“We have had proactive safety programs in place for
years,” said Tom Leverton, Chief Executive Officer of
Omniflight. “Among them are the use of night vision goggles
for our helicopter pilots in most of our operations. We have also
worked hard to train our flight crews to the highest standards. We
see involvement in the FAA’s SMS program as one more
opportunity to further improve our safety and quality and
demonstrate our commitment to our customers.”
In the areas where it has base operations, such as the
Southwest, Midwest, and Southeast, Omniflight operates under its
own name as well as through affiliated brands such as Native Air,
LifeSaver, LifeStar, Orlando Regional Medical Center, and Air Idaho
The first level of SMS participation was a tremendously positive
experience for all of Omniflight’s aviation, technical,
clinical, and administrative personnel. The Level 1 assessment of
safety and quality, spanning the entire company, helped Omniflight
develop plans and strategies for improvement.
As Omniflight moves through the Level 2 phase of the SMS program
throughout 2011, it will implement educational plans and program
enhancements, involving all of the company’s hundreds of
employees. The process includes validation of the effectiveness of
all of Omniflight’s systems, improving communications, and
refining its problem solving. “SMS drives us to ensure that
all of our safety programs are fully integrated with our clinical
group, to the point of sharing operational and technical details
and weaving all of our functions together, with a more effective
communications flow,” Leverton said.
Because the SMS program is effectively a partnership with the
FAA, designed to establish and maintain a fully integrated safety
system, Omniflight’s customers and employees will be assured
that the company meets the highest standards in the industry.
“This program is highly recommended by the FAA for our
industry,” Leverton said. By participating ourselves and
involving our customers in the ongoing program, Omniflight
continues to demonstrate our commitment to a true safety-first