VOLUME 10 SAFETY ASSURANCE SYSTEM POLICY AND PROCEDURES
CHAPTER 1 GENERAL
Section 1 Safety Assurance System
10-1-1-1 GENERAL. This chapter explains the policy, concepts,
principles, roles and responsibilities, acronyms, and definitions for the Safety
Assurance System (SAS).
A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide an overview
of SAS, including statutory background, key concepts, and principles.
B. Scope. This section applies to all SAS users.
A. Statutory Authority. Title 49 of the United States Code (49
U.S.C.) and Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) provide the
statutory and regulatory authority for SAS, respectively. Title 49 U.S.C. is
broad in scope and contains the codified provisions of the Federal Aviation
Act of 1958 (FA Act), which prescribes the powers and authorities of the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA). Title 14 CFR is prescriptive in nature and contains
specific requirements to obtain a certificate holder operating or air agency
certificate and standards for conducting related operations. SAS is not a separate
safety standard and does not impose additional requirements on certificate holders.
The SAS policy and procedures provide aviation safety inspectors (ASI) with
standardized protocols to evaluate certificate holder programs required by regulations
to be approved or accepted. The following requirements in 49 U.S.C. Subtitle
VII, Chapter 447, Safety Regulation, are applicable to SAS:
1) Title 49 U.S.C. § 44702, Issuance of Certificates. “When issuing
a certificate under this chapter, the Administrator shall consider the duty
of an air carrier to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety
in the public interest.”
2) Title 49 U.S.C. § 44705, Air Carrier Operating Certificates. “The
Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue an air
carrier operating certificate to a person desiring to operate as an air carrier
when the Administrator finds, after investigation, that the person properly
and adequately is equipped and able to operate safely under this part and regulations
and standards prescribed under this part.”
3) Title 49 U.S.C. § 44707, Examining and Rating Air Agencies. The
Administrator is authorized to provide for the examination and rating of
air agencies, such as civilian flight schools, repair stations, and other air
agencies. The Administrator is also authorized to issue certificates for these
flight schools, repair stations, and air agencies.
B. Policy Statement of the FAA as it Pertains to Promoting Aviation
Safety for Certificate Holders. SAS is a system safety approach to oversight
based on FAA policy. The FAA follows regulatory policy, which recognizes the
obligation of the certificate holder to maintain the highest possible degree
of safety. SAS implements our policy by providing safety controls (i.e., regulations
and application) of business organizations and individuals who fall under FAA
regulations. Under SAS, our primary responsibilities are to:
1) Verify an applicant can operate safely and comply with the
regulations and standards before issuing a certificate and approving or accepting programs.
2) Conduct periodic reviews to verify that a certificate holder
continues to meet regulatory requirements when the environment changes.
3) Validate the performance of a certificate holder’s approved
and accepted programs for the purpose of Continued Operational Safety (COS).
4) Identify regulatory noncompliance or safety issues and correct
them as effectively, quickly, and efficiently as possible.
5) Use the most effective means to return an individual or entity
that holds an FAA certificate, approval, authorization, or license to full compliance
and to prevent recurrence.
C. SAS Concepts and Principles.
1) Definitions of Safety and Risk. Safety is the state in which
the risk of harm to people or property damage is reduced to and maintained at
or below an acceptable level through a continuing process of hazard identification
and risk management (RM). Risk is the combination of predicted severity and
the likelihood of the potential effect of a hazard. In this context, an air
carrier’s duty is to provide service with the highest degree of safety in the
public interest, which means that the air carrier must identify hazards in its
operating environment and manage associated risks. Similarly, an air carrier’s
ability to manage risk is an important part of the FAA’s determination to ensure
that the air carrier is equipped to operate safely under 49 U.S.C. and the regulations
and standards prescribed by 14 CFR.
2) System Safety. The goal of system safety is to optimize safety
by the identification of hazards within an environment and to eliminate or control
their associated risk. We do this by performing Design Assessments (DA) and
Performance Assessments (PA) based on system safety principles. Certificate
holders fulfill their responsibilities by designing operating systems that manage
hazard-related risks and by providing service with the highest degree of safety
in the public interest. These concepts are fundamental to SAS. The FAA uses
a risk-based, data-supported system approach to conduct oversight that validates
the certificate holder’s ability to manage risk and to achieve safety objectives.
3) Safety Attributes. The key to safety is managing safety-critical
processes. This is a responsibility of a certificate holder in meeting the regulatory
obligations. Every Data Collection Tool (DCT) question is based on one of the
Safety Attributes listed in Table 10-1-1A, Safety Attributes. Safety Attributes
provide a foundation for the DCTs so that principal inspectors (PI) can make
informed decisions about the certificate holder’s operating systems (1) before
approving or accepting them when required to do so by the regulations, and (2) during recurring PAs.
4) Hazard. A hazard is a condition that could foreseeably cause
or contribute to an aircraft accident, as defined in Title 49 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (49 CFR) part 830, § 830.2.
Table 10-1-1A. Safety Attributes
identified person who is responsible for ensuring financial
and human resources to ensure the safety and quality performance
of a process.
identifiable, qualified, and knowledgeable person who has authority
to effectively plan, direct, and control resources; change procedures;
and make key determinations, including safety risk acceptance
or practices including checks and restraints that are written
or unwritten and regulatory or nonregulatory, designed into
a process that a certificate holder/applicant uses to accomplish
a desired result. “Unwritten methods” refer to certificate holders/applicants
that are not required by regulation to have documented procedures.
and maintaining the need for, and adequacy of, new or revised
risk controls into a process to ensure mitigation of unacceptable
and measuring the outputs and safety performance of a process
and identifying problems, or potential problems, in order to
take corrective action.
between processes that must be managed in order to ensure desired
of understanding an individual has of how his or her performance
of safety-related duties contributes to the safety performance
of the element.
D. Focus on a Certificate Holder’s Organization and
Processes. The FAA issues certificates, monitors compliance, investigates noncompliance,
administers sanctions, and focuses on a certificate holder’s organization and
process management. We monitor outputs and outcomes, but place emphasis on the
certificate holder’s ability to develop a safe process and to correct deficiencies.
DAs supply objective evidence that a certificate holder/applicant’s design processes
are either adequate or inadequate. PAs supply objective evidence of either the
adequacy or inadequacy of the output of the certificate holder/applicant’s design.
E. Open System Perspective. A successful open system adapts to
the needs of the environment and its resources. Safe operation in the aviation
environment requires constant adaptation. Certificate holders must provide systems
that defend against the hazards in the operating environments, including adapting
to changes. DCTs are used to collect information on risks and on the certificate
holder’s ability to control them.
F. Data Sharing. The FAA is responsible for reaching an assessment
of a certificate holder’s or applicant’s qualification to hold an operating
certificate and to comply with regulations and standards. A qualified ASI may
accomplish and validate a DA with information provided by the certificate holder,
applicant, or third party, such as the Department of Defense (DOD) or Department
of Transportation (DOT), or any of the authorities associated with a Bilateral
Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA). Data sharing and open communication optimize
the oversight system and leverage resources to advance safety.
G. Primary Stakeholder and Beneficiary. The U.S. public is the
primary stakeholder and beneficiary of SAS. The FAA carries out the safety mission
required by statute in the interest of the public. ASIs are responsible for
determining, on behalf of the public, that certificate holders can provide service
with the highest possible degree of safety.
H. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Records are processed under
FOIA in accordance with DOT and Government-wide directives and guidance. FAA Order
Freedom of Information Act Program (FOIA), provides guidance that
governs processing requests for FAA records under FOIA.
I. Security Risks. Security is an important feature of the SAS
automation. If a SAS user detects a security breach or there is an indication
of a security risk, the SAS user should immediately notify the office SAS Security
Auditor. Some examples of a security breach or a risk include:
1) Unauthorized or unintended activity or misuse by authorized
database users, database administrators, or network/systems managers, or by
unauthorized users or hackers (e.g., inappropriate access to sensitive data,
metadata, or functions within databases; or inappropriate changes to the database
programs, structures, or security configurations).
2) Malware infections causing incidents such as unauthorized
access, leakage, or disclosure of personal or proprietary data; deletion of,
or damage to, the data or programs; interruption or denial of authorized access
to the database; attacks on other systems; and the unanticipated failure of
3) Overloads, performance constraints, and capacity issues resulting
in the inability of authorized users to use databases as intended.
4) Design flaws and programming bugs in databases and the associated
programs and systems, creating various security vulnerabilities (e.g., unauthorized
privilege escalation), data loss/corruption, performance degradation, etc.
5) Data corruption and/or loss caused by the entry of invalid
data or commands, mistakes in database or system administration processes, sabotage/criminal
J. Master List of Functions (MLF) Element and Program Tracking and
Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). For data mining and reporting, it is highly recommended
to record the related MLF element in the “Local Use” field for the PTRS items
listed below (e.g., if the ASI conducts an observation related to Weight and
Balance (W&B), enter Element 4.4.5).
a) Operations: 1702, 1703, 1761.
b) Maintenance: 3702, 3703, 3761.
c) Avionics: 5702, 5703, 5761.
a) Operations: 1711, 1712.
b) Maintenance: 3711, 3712.
c) Avionics: 5711, 5712.
a) Operations: 1725.
b) Maintenance: 3720.
c) Avionics: 5720.
4) Extended Operations (ETOPS) Events: 4633, 6633.
10-1-1-7 through 10-1-1-29 RESERVED.