Nowadays, aviation service providers resemble cities in miniature. Like municipalities, they oversee police forces, emergency services, security personnel, parking facilities, and commercial tenants, among other third- party entities. Their statutory responsibilities cover public safety, environmental health and safety, and the protective security of critical infrastructure assets. That’s why airports and airlines face a dizzying number of regulations, doled out by local, state, federal, even international enforcement agencies. Case in point: since 2006 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has required the industry to implement formal safety management systems (SMS).
In turn, national regulators have put teeth into those mandates, rightly noting that the SMS is the most effective system for limiting accident rates. For instance, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed SMS implementation compliance as the price of continued Part 139-certification, a move that would affect aviation services providers (1) classified as small, medium, or large airport hubs according to the national plan of integrated airport systems; (2) identified by Customs and Border Protection as a port of entry, designated international airport, landing rights airport, or user-fee airport; or (3) identified as having more than 100,000 total annual operations.
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