Helicopter Association International (HAI) is excited to announce a new safety management system (SMS) software program designed for small operators and others with cost concerns.

Open solely to HAI Operator Members in good standing, the HAI SMS Program is the direct result of an HAI membership survey in which a significant number of respondents requested turnkey SMS support programs, including ways to make an SMS easier to implement and track. In response, HAI solicited proposals from industry-leading SMS software providers, expecting to select a single provider from the responses. Instead, while evaluating the bids, HAI determined that choosing 3 of the 14 submitted proposals would better meet the needs of its members.

“One of the most exciting elements of the HAI SMS Program is how quickly and efficiently it will help to improve safety across operations. We are truly grateful to our partner providers for enabling us to offer this tremendous program.” –  James Viola, president and CEO of HAI.

The National Transportation Safety Board has long advocated for mandating SMS programs in all revenue passenger-carrying flight operations, including it in their annual Most Wanted List. The HAI SMS Program meets the requirements set forth in their proposal and is equally available to member companies who do not carry passengers for hire.

Join HAI and Save

While the program is open only to HAI Operator Members, the arrangement with HAI’s new software-provider partners could save members significant amounts of both time and money. We believe that signing up for the program through one of these providers should save most of our members more money than the cost of their HAI membership. And while you will still need to enter your information and adopt a safety-mindset, using the developed software is infinitely faster than creating a program from the ground up.

The program also offers flexibility, allowing HAI Operator Members to consider each vendor and select the one that is best aligned with their needs.

The three software providers HAI chose for the HAI SMS Program are:

  • Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) of Washington, DC.. ACSF provides a full range of SMS software options.
  • Baldwin Safety and Compliance of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Baldwin provides the Baldwin SMS Product Suite, which offers a menu of options available for small, medium-sized, and large businesses.
  • WYVERN Ltd. of Nashua, New Hampshire. WYVERN offers its SMS Software and 24/7/365 Support Services package, with affordable options for small operators and other choices with premium SMS software capabilities.

One criterion for selecting ACSF, Baldwin, and WYVERN as the HAI SMS Program providers included ensuring value for HAI’s members. Accordingly, each firm offered discounts on its traditional rates.

“Each of the providers worked with HAI to establish deeply discounted subscription rates, particularly for our small operators,” says Chris Hill, HAI’s director of safety and manager of the HAI SMS Program. “Some of the proposal evaluators were actually concerned that the programs had been scaled back in order to produce these rates, but each of these programs is the same, fully functional software solution they offer other customers.”

Additionally, some of the rates are scalable, depending on the specific needs of each operator, allowing for additional aircraft, users, or premium services. The HAI SMS Program rates are available only to new SMS software subscribers and will not apply to existing customers of these programs.

HAI staff also deliberated brand awareness, reputation, and program strength in their assessment of the submissions. Evaluators were also mildly surprised to see that every one of the 14 original submissions was worthy of implementation. The group debated presenting all 14, but ultimately felt it was impractical, and chose the software solutions they felt were the best fit for HAI’s membership. Because of their experience and successes in this field, HAI’s partners have made the SMS program as simple as 1-2-3.

Robust Progams Make Your Life Easier

Each of the packages offered through the HAI SMS Program allows users to verify their compliance with current and future international and domestic regulations. While the FAA does not currently require SMS programs for all operators, HAI and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have recommended that helicopter operators develop and adopt a safety reporting system that allows for collection of data, analysis, and corrective action where necessary. “Each of these programs provides that system for operators,” adds Hill. “They are responsive and can be adapted as a company continues to grow.”

The HAI SMS Program packages also offer training, self-auditing capabilities, gap analysis, reporting capabilities, and user support services.

Sign Up and Start Operating More Safely

This site is still being developed. For now, the best method of implementing your new SMS program is to contact us directly. We’ll listen to your needs and help you figure out which program will work best for you.

Please contact HAI’s Director of Safety, Chris Hill, by email  today. He’ll reach back out to set up a time to walk through the process with you.