FAA SMS … Boom or Bust?

SMS is a very sophisticated data gathering activity, in the general areas of flight operations, maintenance, certified repair stations, human factors, and communications.

In 2000, the FAA published the NPRM regarding the protection of voluntarily disclosed safety information. The Regulation FAR 193 was published in 2001. It is titled “Protection of Voluntarily Submitted Information.” All I can suggest is for you to find it and read when you can. I am confident that you will agree with me that there are so many loopholes in the regulation that just about anything you tell the government may not be kept private. If they want to release private information, Part 193 shows them how to do it. There are many exceptions to the rule. For example, at the end of 193.7 it clearly states that the FAA will release protected information if ordered to do so by a court. Any SMS regulation would have to prevent any disclosure in any way.

Stephen P. Prentice is an attorney whose practice involves FAA-NTSB issues. He has an Airframe and Powerplant certificate and is an ATP rated pilot. He is a USAF veteran. Send comments to aerolaw@att.net.

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