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NBAA Praises New FAA SMS Rule for Operators to Take Effect in May

NBAA Applauds New FAA SMS Rule

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has officially praised the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for integrating essential feedback from the association into the newly finalized rule on Safety Management Systems (SMS). This rule extends SMS requirements, previously limited to Part 5 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, to include all Part 135 operators, certain Part 21 certificate holders, and §91.147 air tour operators.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen emphasized the industry's longstanding commitment to safety, noting that the business aviation sector has been at the forefront of voluntarily adopting SMS protocols. The new rule incorporates suggestions from NBAA aimed at tailoring the SMS to the scale and complexity of various operations. Notably, the rule adapts to the smallest of operations by ensuring scalability, reduces the regulatory burden on single-pilot operations, and extends the timeline for SMS implementation from 24 to 36 months.

However, Bolen remarked that the FAA's rule does not adopt the industry standards, such as the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), which NBAA had recommended. This omission suggests potential areas for future enhancements in aligning with global best practices.


The final rule's release follows a lengthy process of consultation and feedback collection initiated by the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in early 2023, which followed a previous announcement in 2021 by then-FAA Administrator Steve Dickson about expanding SMS rules. The NPRM generated substantial industry engagement, with nearly 200 comments submitted by NBAA and other stakeholders by April 2023.

As the rule is set to take effect on May 26, 2024, and will impact around 1,850 Part 135 operators and over 700 air tour providers, NBAA is gearing up to offer additional resources to aid in compliance. The association's proactive approach in collaborating with the FAA reflects its pivotal role in shaping aviation safety standards, highlighting its ongoing commitment to enhancing operational safety across the business aviation community.



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