Avionics News January 2017 - 52
What does the FAA's new oversight system mean to you?
S T O R Y
L I N D S E Y
n a recent Avionics News column titled, "The View
from Washington: Don't Shoot the Messenger," the
Aircraft Electronics Association's Ric Peri highlighted
confusion over the Federal Aviation Administration's latest
safety initiative, the SAS, or Safety Assurance System. For
many AEA member companies, SAS is a rather ambiguous
concept - something the FAA inspectors recently started
tossing out in conversation. In a lot of cases, those same
inspectors are (understandably) uncertain how and when
to apply it to industry.
What is SAS? Does it apply to your company? If so,
what do you have to do to comply? Read on for a simple
primer on SAS and what it means for your organization.
SAS is the FAA's new method of oversight. It uses
a risk-based, data-supported system for the initial
certification, routine surveillance, and certificate
management for Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations
M C F A R R E N
Parts 121, 135, and 145 certificate holders and applicants.
The FAA divides these certificate holders into "Peer
Groups," with each group having a set of systems,
subsystems and elements. Repair stations within the
U.S. all fall within Peer Group F. Repair stations with
international locations are in Peer Groups G or H, depending
on additional circumstances. It is important to know your
Peer Group because the FAA has done some work for
each Peer Group through the master list of functions. Each
Peer Group's MLF identifies the systems, subsystems
and elements the FAA deems important. Essentially,
SAS, through its very nature, has conducted some risk
assessments for entire groups of the industry and determined
the MLF items are the critical tasks within an organization.
Six safety attributes form the backbone of SAS. They are:
* Responsibility: A clearly identifiable, qualified
and knowledgeable individual who is accountable
for management of activities and their ultimate