FAA Validates Clay Lacy Aviation’s SMS Program in Top 2% Nationally
(Los Angeles—March 28, 2023) Clay Lacy Aviation has been recognized as a leader within private aviation for its Safety Management System (SMS). Its organization-wide approach has been validated and recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to meet the new standards of the FAA SMS Voluntary Program.
The validation places Clay Lacy in the top 2% of Part 135 operators in the United States that have completed this process and developed a culture of safety promotion. The FAA SMS Voluntary Program (SMSVP) attests that the company’s SMS also meets the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) requirements.
“Clay Lacy has a commitment and priority to safety, continuous improvement and enhancing our safety culture to be proactive and predictive to address problems before they occur,” says David Lamb, Chief Operating Officer. “We are going above and beyond what the FAA is requiring because we recognize the importance and benefits of having a holistic, organizational approach to safety operations.”
Clay Lacy’s SMS touches all components of operations, including aircraft management and maintenance, charter operations and its fixed-based operator (FBO) services. Its team began work to expand existing SMS to the FAA SMSVP standards about two years ago, engaging with the FAA throughout to share knowledge and implement better systems. The SMS implementation is part of Clay Lacy’s Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) where the company fosters company-wide contribution and a systematic review and implementation process to benefit both external and internal stakeholders.
The FAA SMSVP consists of four safety components: policy, risk management, assurance and promotion. The company has aligned its processes, communications and risk assessments to meet and exceed all components. The SMS implementation mandate gives operators 24 months to meet the requirements Clay Lacy has already exceeded.
SMSVP in Action
One practical example of the new SMS was in identifying and assessing a potential hazard on thermal runaway events for batteries during flight. Clay Lacy airplanes are now equipped with thermal runaway bags and flight crews have been trained in case of this rare incident. Outside of equipment and materials, Clay Lacy has instituted a risk assessment and management process throughout its operations, including within accounting and computer systems. It has developed a standard operating procedure at every level.
“We know that this is something that’s more important than checking a box,” Lamb said. “Our culture is one of leadership and doing the right thing on a daily basis. While this is an important milestone, we know that our work to improve is never completed.”
About Clay Lacy Aviation
Founded in 1968 by legendary aviator and industry pioneer Clay Lacy. Today, Clay Lacy Aviation is the world’s most experienced operator of private jets. Prominent individuals and leading corporations trust Clay Lacy for aircraft management, charter, maintenance, avionics, interiors and FBO services. The company has aircraft operations and regional offices across the U.S., including full-service FBOs at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, with a third FBO opening at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in 2024. Clay Lacy also has FAA Part 145 aircraft maintenance centers in Los Angeles and Oxford, Connecticut. With the most knowledgeable team in the industry, Clay Lacy delivers superior safety, service and value to aircraft owners and jet travelers worldwide. Visit claylacy.com
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Scott Cutshall, CAM
Clay Lacy Aviation
+1 (818) 989-2900 X706