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FAA must track implementation of new safety management system: GAO report

September 19, 2012

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Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration has only partially addressed certain aspects of its safety management system, according to a Government Accountability Office report (.pdf file).

The report, released Sept. 12, stated that FAA has gained support for the system from top leadership and has a clear objective, but must take the following actions to ensure adequate implementation:

  • Develop a system to track progress on SMS implementation.
  • Evaluate employee performance as it relates to SMS.
  • Identify, through a workforce analysis, existing gaps in employee expertise needed for implementation.
  • Determine how to address individual airport concerns that safety data can be intercepted by state-specific Freedom of Information Act laws.

According to the report, although FAA stated that SMS was finalized agencywide in April 2012, certain offices such as the Aviation Safety Organization and the Office of Airports will need additional years to complete implementation.

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