Aviation SMS Are Not Required by All Operators
In November 2006, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICA0) mandated the implementation of formal aviation safety management systems (SMS) for most commercial aviation service providers. Besides the usual suspects of large airlines and airports, the list of required operators includes
- flight schools,
- aircraft designers,
- aircraft parts manufacturers, and
- aircraft manufacturers.
To provide SMS implementation guidance, ICAO released the Safety Management Manual (SMM), now in its fourth edition. This user-friendly SMS Bible provides an abundance of useful information to help safety professionals and managers understand SMS requirements as they undergo the SMS implementation process.
While most commercial aviation service providers are required to implement SMS, this is not a blanket mandate. There are many exceptions, notably local private operators that do not fly outside their country of origin and very small airports. If you are uncertain whether your operations require an aviation SMS, contact your civil aviation authority (CAA) or review your CAA's SMS regulatory guidance if available.