Metro Aviation Enters Level III Status in the FAA's SMS Pilot Project and Reiterates Commitment to Safety

17 APRIL 2013 - Shreveport, LA --    

"For safety to exist, it must be a way of life."  Those words are familiar in the Metro Aviation family and reiterated in a new safety video featuring Metro's CEO Mike Stanberry.  The video speaks directly to employees and customers and reaffirms Metro's commitment to sustaining an active Safety Management System (SMS). 

The incorporation of an SMS is becoming the standard of excellence throughout the aviation industry worldwide. Initial implementation of the FAA's voluntarily SMS Pilot Project follows a four-phased process. Metro Aviation entered the Pilot Project in 2010 and has recently entered Level III in the program. The company exited Level II after an extensive review of the program conducted by the FAA.   

"This milestone could not have been accomplished without the commitment from senior management and the buy-in from the employees and customers," said Tarek Loutfy, Metro Aviation's Director of Safety.  "Our primary focus simply put, is to establish a level of safety in our organization that goes beyond the traditional regulatory minimums. The SMS will help us achieve this goal."

Metro is also committed to establishing an active SMS for their Part 145 Repair Station. The SMS will provide a uniform way of handling maintenance safety practices and procedures to ensure that all employees and management are on the same page when it comes to safety. 

In addition to pursuing an active SMS, Metro Aviation has embraced and implemented safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Providers.

 Currently in place at Metro Aviation:

  • All flights with medical personnel on board are conducted under FAR Part 135 rules
  • Operational Control Center (OCC) for flight following utilizing FAR Part 121 Certified Aircraft Dispatchers 24/7
  • Night Vision Goggles utilized in all rotorcraft operations
  • Pilot Risk Assessments conducted prior to each flight to include operational check flights
  • Annual scenario-based simulator training for all HEMS pilots
  • Quarterly aircraft and annual simulator Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) training
  • Policies in place since 2008 prohibiting employees from using portable electronic devices during safety-critical ground activities, as well as in flight
  • Lightweight Aircraft Recording System (LARS) installed on 50% of the fleet with efforts being made to equip the entire fleet within two years
  • Flight data monitoring program established
  • Autopilot, TAWS, and GPWS systems installed on a large percentage of the fleet

Moving forward, Metro Aviation will continue working with industry leaders and regulatory agencies to ensure the safety of their employees, clients and community.  Entering the FAA's voluntary SMS Pilot Project is a true testament of the company's commitment to pursuing the highest safety standards.  "As we transition into Level III, Metro Aviation will focus on proactive and predictive measures to enhance current safety programs," said Loutfy.

"I am proud of the Metro family for this great accomplishment.  Safety is a top priority for all of us and entering Level III is a great example of our commitment," said Milton Geltz, Managing Director.  "I have no doubt that we will enter Level IV in 2014 and continue to provide the safety and quality that the industry has come to expect from Metro Aviation."

Metro's SMS video can be found at www.metroaviation.com.

About Metro Aviation

Metro Aviation, Inc., based in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States is a worldwide provider of completion services for all missions and types of helicopters and specializes in the EC135 and EC145 with several Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) developed by the company for these and other aircraft.  Metro Aviation is an FAA approved repair station, approved Eurocopter Service Center and FAR Part 135 air medical operations provider at several locations across the United States. The company is privately held and is one of the largest traditional air medical providers in the country.  For additional information regarding Metro Aviation, Inc. and any of its products or services, please contact Milton K. Geltz at 318.222.5529 or mgeltz@metroaviation.com.

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