FAA Part 5 Built around 4 Pillars of SMS
Federal Aviation Administration Part 5 requirements are modeled after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They set the standard upon which many oversight agencies around the globe model their standards. In general, Part 5 requirements are specific enough to provide direction but flexible enough to allow aviation SMS programs and airline SMS programs the ability to adapt to those requirements.
Part 5 requirements are organized into 4 interconnected pieces, each of which comprises one of the 4 Pillars of SMS:
Each of these Part 5 sections has several to many sub-requirements that aviation service providers can follow almost like a “checklist.” Hence, the format of audits and gap analysis in evaluating each required element in a list.
Here is a brief overview of each element in FAA Part 5 requirements.
Part 5 FAA Safety Policy Requirement
Part 5 FAA Safety Policy requirements are what aviation SMS programs will address first when beginning aviation SMS implementation. Most Safety Policy requirements are addressed in phase 1 of SMS implementation.
There are four main parts of Part 5 Safety Policy requirement:
- Safety policy statement (5.21);
- Safety accountability and authority (5.25(a)(b));
- Duties and responsibilities of accountable executive and safety management (5.25(c)); and
- Coordination of emergency response planning (5.27).
Most Safety Policy items will not vary much in size from organization to organization. Larger, more complex organizations will have slightly more to account for in their list of duties and responsibilities and ERP, otherwise, safety policy simply involved:
- Establishing commitments;
- Identifying key players in the SMS; and
- Formally organizing roles in the SMS program.
Part 5 FAA Safety Risk Management Requirement
Part 5 FAA Safety Risk Management (SRM) requirements are probably focused on most by aviation SMS programs. Establishing your SRM process in full, simply put, requires a lot of work.
The SRM process requirements entail that you build your “operation risk profile.” Your operational risk profile is broken into 5 steps and will require ongoing updates and maintenance. The 5 steps in the SRM process are:
Each of these steps has multiple requirements to fulfill, which are explored in the above links. The end goal with the FAA Part 5 SRM process requirement is to:
- Describe all aspects of safety in your organization that pertain to risk mitigation, hazards, and risks;
- Develop a list of all identified hazards;
- Develop a list of all risks (i.e., potential accidents, mishaps, etc.) associated with each hazard
- Document all implemented (or pending implementation) risk controls; and
- Document the risk assessment of each identified risk for acceptable levels of safety.
The SRM process is integrated with the Safety Assurance pillar in a feedback loop. As new data is acquired during the SA process, the SRM process is triggered to document and account for the changes.
Part 5 FAA Safety Assurance Requirement
The Part 5 Safety Assurance process requirements are established to verify that your SMS program is performing as it should. This process also has 5 parts:
- Safety Assurance Performance Monitoring;
- Data Acquisition;
- Analysis of Data;
- Safety Performance Assessment; and
- Continuous Improvement.
Each of these elements has many sub-requirements, which are explored in the links above.
The SA process happens on a daily basis. Every day, functional SMS programs (i.e., SMS programs that are not a farce) will acquire, analyze, and assess data, and then evaluate how it pertains to continuous improvement.
Performance monitoring elements will also happen on a daily or regular basis. By “monitoring” we are talking about ensuring that elements of SRM are working and accounted for.
Part 5 FAA Safety Promotion Requirement
Safety promotion is mainly about establishing a positive safety culture. Building a positive safety culture is probably the most advanced goal in aviation safety management systems. Unfortunately, this pillar is largely overlooked, hence why it is commonly called “The overlooked pillar.”
If it’s so important, why it is overlooked? Mainly because it exists in the shadow of the SRM and SA pillars. In the wake of such extensive and important processes as the SA and SRM processes, it’s very easy to overlook how much attention Safety Promotion warrants from safety managers.
The main elements of Safety Promotion are:
Safety Promotion covers many of the mission-critical elements that determine SRM and SA performance.
For more resources on FAA Part 5 requirements, you will find the following extremely valuable:
Last updated in September 2023.