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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met April 6, 2021, to select the items for the agency’s 2021–2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. Two of the 10 items on the list would affect the rotorcraft industry:
- From the NTSB Office of Aviation Safety, the recommendation is to “Require and Verify the Effectiveness of Safety Management Systems (SMS) in All Revenue Passenger-Carrying Aviation Operations”
- From the NTSB Office of Research and Engineering, the recommendation is to “Install Crash-Resistant Recorders and Establish Flight Data Monitoring Programs.”
“Helicopter Association International is grateful to the directors and staff of the NTSB for their continued efforts to improve U.S. transportation safety,” says James Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “We agree and support their recommendation to require SMS programs for all passenger-carrying operations and encourage the use of recorders and flight-data monitoring (FDM) programs.” HAI has adopted a 360-degree approach to safety that includes development of a personal and corporate safety culture, the appropriate use of technology, and lifelong training.
“HAI strongly recommends that all aviation operations, not just those that carry passengers for hire, adopt an SMS program,” adds Viola. “An SMS provides a structured, ongoing process to improve operational safety and is endorsed by aviation regulators and safety organizations around the world as the best way to systematically manage aviation risk.”
Properly managed SMS programs start with buy-in at the highest level of a company. Application of the SMS program then expands to include every employee, recognizing that each staff member must take personal responsibility to identify and report operational hazards and to follow established policies and procedures. “This commitment to safety, from top to bottom, has been shown to reduce the risk of accidents,” continues Viola.