ICAO Annex 19 Audits Begin in 2018... But U.S. Operators Flying to Europe May Need SMS Now

While the FAA works on requiring Safety Management Systems (SMS) for all commercial operators in the United States (currently just FAR Part 121 airlines must have SMS in place by June 2017), the rest of the world is way ahead in terms of requiring business aircraft operators to also use an SMS. Operators who fly in international waters must soon be ready to provide SMS program documentation for entry at foreign airports. This includes U.S. operators flying to Caribbean airports.


A deliverable from  an ICAO safety conference in 2010, the ICAO Annex 19 Safety Management was published in November 2013.  Annex 19 outlines the safety management responsibilities of member States, service providers within those states, and international general aviation operators conducting operations of large or turbojet airplanes. Appendix 2 of the Annex 19 specifically outlines an SMS Framework recommended for compliance. The SMS framework now also applies to aircraft type design and manufacturing organizations.


As of November 26, 2016, Part 135 charter aircraft flying into the European Union require prior authorization through the new EASA Third-Country Operator (TCO) program. The TCO requires any commercial aircraft operators landing within specified countries and territories to comply with “the applicable standards contained in the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, in particular... 19 (Safety Management).” Operators can use the iIS-BAO software to implement an SMS to comply with TCO requirements.


ICAO has scheduled the commencement of Annex 19 audits for member states starting the January 2018. Some member states, including those in the South American region, are finding challenges in implementing SMS to meet the Annex 19 dates due to “the absence of specific guidance material...” and “the absence of training for those responsible for implementing Annex 19 requirements.”  The iIS-BAO software can help on both accounts by providing a framework for the IS-BAO system and training documentation.


ICAO Annex 19 presents SMS challenges to operators and training/auditing opportunities to service providers and auditors. iIS-BAO software can help you with these challenges and opportunities.