A Guidebook for Airport Safety Management Systems

An airport safety management system (SMS) provides a systematic, proactive approach to reducing the risk and severity of aircraft accidents/incidents on the airfield. ICAO has adopted a standard for SMS that has been applicable to international airports since November 2005. The FAA has developed guidance on SMS implementation in the United States and is planning to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Airport operators in the United States have safety programs in place that have resulted in today's high level of aviation safety. These programs can form the basis of a more comprehensive SMS. The SMS will supplement these programs by providing a systematic, proactive approach that includes (a) documenting identified hazards and their mitigation; (b) monitoring and measuring the ongoing safety experience of the airport; (c) establishing a voluntary non-punitive safety reporting system that can be used by employees of the airport operator, airlines, and tenants; and (d) improving the entire airport's safety culture. A key component of an SMS is safety risk management that considers the probabilities of occurrence of an accident/incident and the severity or consequences of that accident/incident. A guidebook will be timely and useful to airports in developing and implementing a safety management system consistent with guidance that results from the FAA rulemaking process. The SMS guidebook should describe the associated concepts, methodologies, processes, tools, and safety performance measurements that can be applied by airports based on their level of operations and complexity. The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for developing an effective airport safety management system for different airport sizes based on FAA regulations that will be issued in the near future. Based on the FAA regulatory process, the guidebook will define SMS, explain the airport operator role in SMS, and provide guidance on the development of an SMS.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 4-05

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Salamone, Michael

  • Performing Organizations:

    Applied Research Associates, Incorporated

    811 Spring Forest Road, Suite 100
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27609-9199
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ayers, Manuel

  • Start Date: 20070524
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090331
  • Source Data: RiP Project 12158

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462882
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 4-05
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:12PM