The U.S. airline industry is experiencing the safest period in aviation history. Commercial air travel is the safest form of intercity transportation in the United States, and every day A4A members transport about 2 million passengers and nearly 50,000 tons of cargo. While our members compete in most aspects of business, they collaborate on issues pertaining to the safety of their passengers and crew.
Recently, the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Airlines for America (A4A) stood side by side to announce the Safety Management Systems (SMS) rule. This rule builds on existing critical data gathering and sharing programs that many of the airlines already have in place, and works to create a more uniform and structured way of managing safety risks.
Airlines already collaborate and work together to share data that enhances safety. The SMS rule provides a framework for both the FAA and airlines to manage operational risks to an acceptable level. It strengthens the programs already underway to share a national safety database that enables analysis and modeling to improve carrier solutions for those operational risks.
As the international leader for safety in air travel, U.S. airlines support this step and understand the significance in harmonizing this new rule with the current International Civil Aviation Organization standard on SMS, with the goal of having other countries in the world also adopt this analytical, risk-based approach to safety.
There is nothing more important than the safe arrival of our passengers, crew and cargo. That is why our members adopted this approach long before it became a rule. Every one of our member carriers either has been in the SMS pilot program or is part of the current voluntary SMS program.