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DATEATTACHMENT 18300.10 CHG XX

CHAPTER 16.  EVALUATING PART 121 AIR CARRIER PROGRAMS WITH SAFETY ATTRIBUTE INSPECTION AND ELEMENT PERFORMANCE INSPECTION DATA COLLECTION TOOLS

SECTION 1.  BACKGROUND

1.

GENERAL.  This chapter describes the air transportation oversight system (ATOS), the system safety process, and provides an introduction to the safety attribute inspection (SAI) and element performance inspection (EPI) data collection tools (DCT) that are an integral part of the ATOS system.  

3.

OBJECTIVE.  The objective of this section is to provide non-ATOS certificate management teams (CMT) and their principals with an overview of ATOS and an introduction to the 1.x SAIs and EPIs.

5.

OVERVIEW.  ATOS is the system by which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides regulatory oversight of air carriers that hold operations specifications issued in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 119 and 121.  The objective of ATOS is to ensure that the Flight Standards Service and air carriers meet their separate responsibilities in accordance with Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.), 14 CFR, and FAA policy. Title 49 U.S.C. empowers the FAA to prescribe regulations and minimum safety standards and requires air carriers to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest.  ATOS has three primary functions: verification, validation and risk management.  Verification processes (e.g., initial certification and program approvals/acceptance) ensure that an air carrier meets regulatory requirements and safety standards.  Validation processes (e.g., performance assessments) ensure that air carrier operating systems perform as intended by the regulations.  Risk management processes deal with hazards and associated risks that are subject to regulatory control (e.g., enforcement, certificate amendment, rulemaking) and are used to target FAA resources in accordance with risk-based priorities.  System safety is the underlying philosophy of ATOS and postulates that safety is an outcome of a properly designed system.  ATOS accomplishes its verification, validation, and risk management activities by using tools that are structured in accordance with safety attributes derived from system engineering and quality concepts.  These tools

focus ATOS oversight on an air carrier’s organization, particularly on the design and performance of processes that an air carrier employs to conduct its business, and on the impact of the operating environment.  Safety is an outcome of an air carrier’s management of its safety-critical processes.  Air carriers, not the FAA, are responsible for safety management, quality assurance and quality control.  While ATOS must enable safety inspectors to make independent judgments, the system is also designed to support data sharing, collaboration, open communication and voluntary programs such as internal evaluation and aviation safety action programs.  Efficient use of resources is accomplished through risk targeting and clearly defined safety priorities.

7.

THE AIR TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT SYSTEM (ATOS). ATOS is the system by which Flight Standards implements FAA policy.  It does this by providing safety controls (i.e., regulations and their application) of regulated business organizations and individuals.  Through the application of regulations and policy, ATOS also ensures that an air carrier’s operating systems are properly configured to control risk.  The primary functions of ATOS are (1) verification—to ensure that air carriers meet required standards and to issue operating certificates and approve or accept air carrier programs after verifying that standards are met; (2) validation—to ensure continuing operational safety by assessing the performance of an air carrier’s operating systems; and (3) risk management—to manage hazards and associated risks that are subject to regulatory control and to target FAA resources in accordance with risk-based priorities.  Verification, validation and risk management are decision-making functions.  In this context, ATOS is a decision support system.  Decisions are the output of the system.  ATOS data collection is a purposeful activity to support decision makers.  The primary decision makers are principal inspectors.

9.

ATOS CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES. ATOS relies on the following concepts and principles:

Vol. 1

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