ACI-NA Questions Benefits of FAA Regulatory Proposals

In its filing Monday, ACI-NA is asking that the FAA withdraw its proposed Safety Management System rule due to serious technical concerns.

“U.S. airports have an enviable safety record and are part of one of the safest aviation systems in the world,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato.  “Nevertheless, our members have striven to continuously improve the safety of their facilities. It is critical that safety and security dollars be well spent. FAA must fully address the concerns of U.S. airports before taking any further action on this rulemaking.”

If it takes ACI-NA’s advice and re-crafts its proposed rule, ACI-NA is urging the agency to focus its efforts on a number of proposal before writing a new rule:

  • Developing a more serious and defensible regulatory analysis;
  • Completing the third airport SMS pilot study;
  • Completing and refining its revision to airport SMS implementation guidance and advisory circulars that detail how the Rule would need to be implemented;
  • Seeking legislative action at the federal and state levels to provide needed data and liability protections; and
  • Working out the details regarding how airport SMSs will function effectively with the other SMS programs developed by the other FAA lines of business. 

Once these actions are completed, a more effective airport SMS rule can be developed.

Also on Monday, ACI-NA submitted additional comments on the FAA proposed Safety Enhancements for airports.

ACI-NA originally submitted comments regarding the proposed rule on May 13.  Since that date, the FAA published the initial regulatory evaluation of the proposed rule to the docket on May 26, and reopened the comment period.

In its latest comments, ACI-NA said airports remain concerned that the FAA is proposing to implement costly and time-consuming requirements on airport operators without providing any tangible evidence that these requirements will enhance airport safety.

It is ACI-NA’s recommendation that before issuing a final version of the proposed rule, the FAA redo its regulatory evaluation utilizing both empirical data and industry-accepted analytical techniques.

Contact ACI-NA’s Chris Oswald or Matt Griffin for more information.