SMS - Rulemaking Status

Current rulemaking status regarding SSP and SMS

The first opportunity for the Agency to draft regulations in the area of SSP and SMS was offered through the first extension of its remit to cover the areas of Air Operations and Flight Crew Licensing. This process started back in 2006. Among other deliverables it resulted in the development of two distinct sets of requirements for authorities and organisations respectively:

  • Authority Requirements take due account of the critical elements of a safety oversight system defined by ICAO, thus they support the implementation of SSPs, while serving the standardisation objective set out in the Basic Regulation . They further include elements that are essential for establishing a comprehensive aviation safety management system at EU level, encompassing EU and Member State responsibilities for safety management. Hence, these common authority requirements are directly relevant to the implementation of the European Aviation Safety Programme (EASP).
  • Organisation Requirements include consolidated general requirements for management systems, designed to embed the ICAO SMS SARPs in a way as to ensure compatibility with existing management systems and to encourage integrated management. The Agency believes that SMS should not be implemented through an additional requirement superimposed onto the existing rules: Imposing a safety management system as a separate element could be interpreted as yet another prescriptive requirement, with the risk that organisations seek to satisfy their competent authority by showing that they have added in their organisation all required prescriptive elements, without effectively embedding safety management into all their processes. The EASA management system requirements fit various organisations, whatever their size, nature or complexity of activities and whatever business model they follow, thus catering for proportionate application.

For the different technical areas these general Authority and Organisation Requirements are complemented with more specific requirements (for example: flight data monitoring requirements for air operators). These general Authority and Organisation Requirements have been designed to set the standard for implementing streamlined requirements for all areas within the Agency's remit. In particular, the common management system requirements constitute a single safety management framework for all approved organisations within the scope of the Basic Regulation. Considering the different historical backgrounds of the different aviation domains within the EU (e.g. airworthiness and air operations with a similar background, whereas ATM/ANS comes from different background) harmonisation of the existing regulatory material to align with this framework cannot be achieved in the short term.

Airworthiness (initial and continuing)

The existing authority and organisation requirements as defined in Sections B and A respectively of Regulations (EU) No 748/2012 (superseding Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003) and Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003 have not yet been amended:

  • Task: MDM.060 addresses initial airworthiness (Commission Regulation (EC) No 748/2012) and will focus on introduction of safety management principles into "Part-21" (Annex to Regulation 748/2012). MDM.060 combines four rulemaking tasks on two subjects: Level of Involvement (LOI) of the Agency in product certification (RMT.0262 (IR) + RMT.0611(AMC/GM)) and Safety Management System (SMS) for Design and Manufacturing organisations (RMT.0550 (IR) . The ToRs, together with a concept paper have been published on the EASA website (cf. ToR and Concept Paper MDM.060). A Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) No.1 for LOI will contain draft implementing rules only. NPA No. 2 with AMC/GM material for LOI will be published at a later stage in 2014 after completion of pilot certification projects to validate the LOI concept and provide AMC/GM material. NPA No.3 for SMS covering both the implementing rules and AMC/GM material will build upon the results of SMS pilot projects.
  • Task RMT.0251 (MDM.055) addresses continuing airworthiness - Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1321/2014 - "Part-M", "Part-145", “Part-66” and "Part-147", meaning safety management in the area of maintenance organisations, continuing airworthiness management organisations and maintenance training organisations.

    This task resulted in the publication of two distinct NPAs:

    • NPA 2013-01, published in January 2013 to cover Part-M and Part-145,
    • NPA 2013-19, published in October 2013 to cover Part-66 (very limited changes) and Part-147.
  • NPAs 2013-01 and 2013-19 proposed changes to Sections A and B of the continuing airworthiness Regulation to implement the ICAO SMS framework and to support the implementation of SSP/EASP. The majority of changes were based on Subparts ‘General’ of the authority and organisation requirements and related AMCs/GM adopted with Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 as amended by Regulation (EU) 290/2012 for civil aviation Aircrew and Regulation (EU) 965/2012 for Air Operations respectively

    In 2015 the Agency decided to adopt a two-phased approach for RMT.0251 (MDM.055) and to include in this rulemaking task the SMS part of rulemaking task MDM.060:

    • Phase I :
      • Introduction of SMS requirements in Part-M
        • This led to the publication of Opinion 06/2016 ‘Part-CAMO’.
          Part-CAMO is aligned with the authority- and organisation requirements already introduced for ATM/ANS, aerodromes, aircrew and air operations.
    • Phase II:
      • Changes to Part-66 (SMS elements to be added to the training syllabi)
      • Introduction of SMS requirements in
        • Part-145 organisations,
        • Part-147 (to be confirmed)
        • Part-21 Design & Production Organisations.
      • Phase II will be the subject of new Terms of Reference and a new NPA, to be published 2017

Aircrew (flight crew and cabin crew)

The amending Regulation defining Authority and Organisation Requirements for civil aviation aircrew (Regulation (EC) No 290/2012) was published in March 2012, following EASA Opinion 03/2011. The organisation requirements encompassing the SMS elements apply to:

  • approved training organisations (ATOs), i.e. all organisations providing training for commercial and/or private licences in accordance with the EASA rules on flight crew licensing, as well as organisations engaged in flight test training.
  • all holders of a Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) qualification certificate
  • all aero-medical centres.

Member States may decide not to apply the new provisions until up to one year after entry into force of the Regulation (which provides an "opt-out" possibility until 08 April 2013). Additional transition measures are applicable for training organisations providing training for private licences only, as well as for training organisations providing flight test training only: These organisations need to comply by 08 April 2015 latest. All organisations whose certificates are "grandfathered" under the new rules need to show compliance with the new requirements by 08 April 2014 latest.

A text comparison between the ICAO Annex 6 SMS framework and the EASA management system provisions is available here (starting on page 8 of the explanatory note).

Air Operations

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 defining Authority, Organisation and Technical Requirements for air operations entered into force on 28 October 2012. The Regulation, as last amended by Regulation (EU) No 800/2013 covers only commercial air transport (CAT) with aeroplanes and helicopters, non-commercial operations of Complex Motor-powered Aircraft (NCC), commonly referred to as “business aviation” and non-commercial operations of non-Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft (NCO). It will subsequently be amended to also address CAT A-A operations as well as CAT with sailplanes and balloons and specialised operations (aerial work).

The organisation requirements encompassing the SMS elements will apply to:

  • all operators who are required to hold an AOC / organisation certificate under the new EU rules.
  • all operators who will be required to declare their activity under the new EU rules (non-commercial operations of CMPA)

Regarding the first package of the rules related to CAT, Member States may decide not to apply the new provisions until 28 October 2014. As for the area of aircrew, operators whose certificates are "grandfathered" under the new rules will need to show compliance, including adapting their management system, no later than two years after the entry into force of the Regulation (28 October 2014).

Regarding the second package of the rules related to NCC and NCO, Members States may decide not to apply the new provisions, including the management system requirements applicable to operators required to declare their activities (NCC), until 25 August 2016.


ATM/ANS (Air traffic management/Air navigation services)

Following the second extension of the Agency's remit to the areas of Air Traffic Management, Air Navigation Services and Aerodromes a number of European Union regulations building upon the former Single European Sky Regulations (which were built upon EUROCONTROL ESARRs (Safety Regulatory Requirements) have been issued. The most relevant ones in relation to SMS and SSP implementation for ATM/ANS are listed below:

  • Regulation (EC) No 1035/2011 "Common requirements for the provision of air navigation services", mandates Air Traffic Services and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) providers to have a Safety Management and to all Air Navigation Service providers to implement a Quality Management System. For the QMS requirement the Regulation recognises an EN ISO 9001 certificate covering the air navigation services of the provider as a sufficient means of compliance. Under this Regulation service providers may integrate safety, security and quality management systems. In the future, this Regulation will be amended to align with the draft ICAO Annex 19 and as applicable with the management system requirements developed for air crew and air operations.
  • Regulation (EU) No 1034/2011 "Safety oversight in air traffic management and air navigation services" defines the corresponding requirements for competent authorities in the field of ATM/ANS. This Regulation sets out specific requirements for annual safety oversight reporting and monitoring and assessment of the levels of safety achieved.
  • Regulation (EC) 691/2010 "Performance Scheme for Air Navigation Services and Network functions", which is closely linked with the Single European Sky (SES) project. This Regulation defines four Key Performance areas and corresponding indicators: Environment, Capacity, Cost-efficiency and Safety. It further creates an EU Performance Review Board (PRB) to implement and monitor the performance scheme. The EU Commission and the PRB shall coordinate with EASA on the definition and monitoring of the safety Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and on all safety aspects of the performance scheme. The first reference period covers 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014.


The EU rules on "Authority, Organisation and Operations Requirements for Aerodromes" have been published with Regulation (EC) No 139/2014. The rules foresee that aerodrome operators of such aerodromes that will require certification shall implement and maintain a management system that integrates a safety management system. These provisions are closely based on the organisation requirements developed for aircrew and air operations. Transition measures foresee full compliance with the provisions established until end of year 2017.