FAA expands applicability and revises SMS


On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Federal Aviation Administration published its final rule updating requirements for safety management systems and requiring certain certificate holders and commercial air tour operators to develop and implement a safety management system.

This rule extends the requirement of 14 CFR Part 5, Safety Management Systems, to all certificate holders operating under the rules for commuter and on-demand operations under Part 135, commercial air tour operators under section 91.147, production certificate holders that are holders or licensees of a type certificate for the same product, and holders of a type certificate that license out that type certificate for production under Part 21.

There are significant revisions to 14 CFR Part 5 moving SMS from an air carrier (Part 121) only regulation to a much broader application. Of particular interest is that the FAA amended the proposed sections 5.1(e) and 5.1(f) by adding "For the same product" (aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller) to clarify that Part 5 does not apply to either a supplemental type certificate holder or a PC holder for an STC, or PC holders that only produce parts or articles.

The FAA had requested comments on the inclusion of Part 145 repair stations in the proposal. While there were diverse responses from a wide range of affected parties, including the AEA, the agency is not expanding the applicability of this rule beyond the original proposal (i.e., Part 145 repair stations are not included). However, as discussed at the AEA Convention, if you are a domestic FAA repair station and you also hold a foreign repair station certificate, you will be required by the foreign authority to implement an SMS program. As such, the voluntary implementation of Part 5 may be required.

Any organization that has implemented the FAA’s SMS program under Part 5 is encouraged to review the changes in Part 5 to determine how they affect your existing management system.

The industry is awaiting publication of the revised policy and guidance for the effective implementation of the Part 145 voluntary SMS program.

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.