USDA Forest Service

Safety Systems Enterprise


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Gary Morgan

Jim Morrison at
801-540-5331 or

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United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Enterprise

United States Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Enterprise Program

The Need for Safety Management Systems

Dec 17, 2007 (Very Light Jets/Access Intelligence via COMTEX) -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Air Transport Association (ATA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) held its 4th Annual International Aviation Safety Forum outside Washington, DC, Nov. 28-30, at which participants from around the world pledged to implement Safety Management Systems, a systematic approach to managing risks associated with commercial aviation.

In his address to the Forum, Robert A Sturgell, Acting FAA Administrator said: "the question for us in aviation is how to maintain the safety record that's the envy of all transportation. How are we going to raise the bar? The answer is SMS -- safety management systems. Aviation no longer is in the business of combing through ashes and wreckage to find answers. SMS will give us the intelligence we need before the problem reaches the headlines. When it comes to risks, the low- hanging fruit is long gone. SMS uses hard data to point us in the direction we need to go. We don't have to wait for something bad to happen. Ultimately, we don't want to just meet ICAO minimums. Ultimately, our goal is to raise the bar worldwide no matter where you go.

"At its most fundamental level, a safety management system helps organizations identify and manage risk," he continued. "It is based on hard data. Safety management systems help us manage risk far better than we have, because it's a disciplined and standardized approach to managing risk. At the very core of the SMS is the need to identify potential hazards and then analyze risk. After that, the next steps are to rank hazards and assess risk, and then identify mitigation options. It's a closed-loop process where identified risks are mitigated and the mitigations are monitored to provide continuous system safety."


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