Aviation groups are asking the FAA to overhaul a proposed rule requiring safety management systems for charters and tour operators. NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association have filed comments on the proposed rule, saying the one-size-fits-all approach by the agency unfairly burdens smaller, less complex operations. “For any SMS to be truly effective, it must be tailored to the size and complexity of each operation,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen.

NBAA says the FAA has also not given operators enough time to get their SMS plans together, calling the 24-month deadline “unrealistic.” It said a three- to five-year implementation is recommended by safety auditors. The group also doubts the FAA can meet that timeline. “The FAA has limited resources to meet existing SMS oversight requirements, much less to oversee new programs,” NBAA said. It’s recommending the agency go back to the drawing board and involve stakeholders in developing an effective plan for SMS implementation. Bolen also stressed that the industry is on board with the SMS requirement, but it needs to “better serve the wide diversity of operational types within business aviation.” 

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