Curt Lewis & Associates Offers Expertise in Airport SMS Program

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is taking safety to a new level, targeting 580 airports in the U.S. Although the latest National Transportation Safety Board statistics peg 2006 as the second safest year on record for commercial air travelers, air traffic continues to spiral up along with airport expansion to accommodate larger aircraft. As a result, the FAA is proposing a new safety management system (SMS) for FAA-certified airports.

Airports should leverage the expertise of a third party who has substantial knowledge and experience in implementing this next-level SMS

    According to Curt Lewis, principal of Curt Lewis & Associates, airports will benefit from the new SMS by addressing risk in a comprehensive manner. "If an airport has been aggressively addressing safety, then they're further on the path to a well-structured SMS," according to Lewis. "If not, now is the time to set and implement goals and to begin managing risks."

Many airports already have some form of an SMS in place. Traditionally, however, those systems have not spread the responsibility for safety throughout all levels of the organization. Rather, they've been confined to audits or checklists in areas where a large number of accidents have occurred.

Through an advisory circular issued in February 2007, the FAA defined four core components of an SMS program: a safety policy, comprehensive risk management, a safety assurance process and safety promotion.

"Airports should leverage the expertise of a third party who has substantial knowledge and experience in implementing this next-level SMS," says Lewis. "We can pinpoint an operator's needs and deficiencies and design a plan that will integrate existing safety practices. While each airport's safety needs vary, the components of an SMS do not," Lewis says. "Our experts have an extensive aviation safety background, so we understand how to develop, implement and maintain an exhaustive SMS."

In fact, Lewis says that any company will benefit from implementing this next-level SMS. His organization has also helped companies in engineering and manufacturing successfully implement safety programs.

For more information, companies can call 817.303.9096, or e-mail Curt Lewis at: curt@curt-lewis.com.

Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC is a multi-discipline consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. The firm, established in 2005, targets safety management systems, system safety audits and safety training programs, risk management, accident investigation and quality assessments. For more information, visit http://www.curt-lewis.com.

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