Duncan steps up its Safety Status by volunteering to adopt SMS

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Duncan Aviation Part of FAA Voluntary SMS Program

SMS signifies a VERY HIGH Safety standard

Duncan Aviation sets the mark 


It is fair to say that some of the reason why 2017 was the safest year in commercial aviation safety is SMS. It is also reasonable to infer that some segments of aviation are reluctant to implement this proven method to reduce risk. First proposed in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2009. The regulatory relations then were a bit frayed with heavy enforcement actions and some concerns about the administration of VDRP.

With the successful transition to Compliance Philosophy, those suspicions should be diminished. Further, carriers with a well-refined system no longer complain about the paperwork burden. To the contrary, some have acknowledged that SMS’s proactive/preventative perspective is facilitating their compliance.

In that context, the announcement that Duncan Aviation has been working closely with the FAA in the development of a Safety Management System (SMS) for all operations should not be surprising and in fact, as with many of the company’s past actions, it sets a standard for the Part 145 industry.

“Safety has always been at the heart of what we do at Duncan Aviation and always will be,” says Tom Burt, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Michigan, facility.

“A Safety Management System will help us connect all of our safety-related activities so that we can confidently continue delivering safe products while keeping our team members safe in an increasingly complex environment.”

So far, the Duncan Aviation SMS team has completed a gap analysis, which looks at how current Duncan Aviation safety activities line up with 14 CFR part 5. “Once everything is verified and accepted by the FAA for our operations in Lincoln, we will move on to apply for SMS for our Battle Creek and Provo (Utah) locations as well,” says Mike Brown, Audit Programs/SMS Manager.“In the meantime, we are implementing all the same processes at all of our locations.”




Duncan Aviation’s Flight Department is IS-BAO Stage III accredited, which requires an SMS for that department. In addition, the Lincoln FBO Operations is Stage I accredited by IS-BAH, which also requires an SMS for that area. The FAA SMS in work covers all facets of Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln location.

IS-BOA is a well-recognized mark of excellence among buyers of MRO services. SMS status will set Duncan apart from most of its competitors.









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