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FAA, News, Regulatory, Safety Management Systems

FAA Delays SMS Deadline

The FAA has delayed the deadline for submitting comments on the Safety Management Systems (SMS) proposed rule.  This delay was in response to a MARPA request for additional time for commenters.

The proposed SMS rule was published on November 5, 2010.  It proposes a new set of regulations that would require air carriers to develop and implement a comprehensive quality management system known as a “Safety Management System.”  This Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) proposes a new Part Five of the FAA regulations that would establish the SMS parameters for regulated businesses.

The rule is likely to have an affect that reaches beyond air carriers.  The proposed rule announced a future intent to impose the new SMS requirements on repair stations and FAA-regulated manufacturers.  It is possible that even before the standards would be imposed on PMA manufacturers, that many of the requirements could be “flowed-down” to PMA manufacturers by their SMS-regulated customers.  For these reasons, the outcome of the proposed rule is very important to the PMA community.

MARPA has been working with its Technical Committee to develop comprehensive comments on the proposed rule.  One of the Committee’s concerns is that if the rule is not well crafted, then it could  misdirect resources and actually impede safety.  MARPA members with ideas or comments are invited to share them with the Association.

The new deadline for comments on the FAA’s SMS proposal is March 7, 2011.   With this delay in the comment deadline, MARPA is hoping to use the additional time to strengthen its comments and to solicit more comments from members.

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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