A new rule from the Federal Aviation Administration will help US airports detect and mitigate safety problems before they result in accidents or incidents.

The final rule requires certain airports to develop and implement a safety management system (SMS).

“The safe operation of our nation’s airports is paramount during these historic times in aviation as we work to repair and construct necessary airport infrastructure,” said associate administrator for airports Shannetta R Griffin. 

“This rule promotes safety and enables airports to work collaboratively with partners to mitigate risks and avert accidents.” 

The use of SMS programmes by commercial airlines and many manufacturers helped foster the safest era in commercial aviation history, according to the FAA. Fundamental to the programme is identifying risks and then taking steps to correct potential safety issues before they result in accidents or incidents, the organisation said. 

The final rule applies to more than 200 of America’s busiest commercial airports. The timeline to fully implement SMS ranges from four to five and a half years depending on the airports’ classification and operations. 

The rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

Image: FAA