Start Using FAA Part 5 SMS Database Tools

Part 5 Automation Tool was created from a popular Web-based aviation safety database called SMS Pro. SMS Pro has been used solely by the aviation industry since Janurary 2008. SMS Pro is mature, highly configurable and full featured.

Your FAA inspectors will love this aviation safety system because it is modeled after 14 CFR Part 5 requirements. They won't have to think "outside-the-box" when evaluating your SMS program because Part 5 Automation Tool uses the same "lingo" as the FAA inspectors.

Using the Part 5 Automation Tool, all required SMS activities are managed within one system. FAA inspectors auditing your aviation safety system will have easy work because they have been taught according to this Automation Tool's structure.

Just like Part 5, the Automation Tool is based on the four pillars:

  1. Safety Policy;
  2. Risk Management;
  3. Safety Assurance; and
  4. Safety Promotion.
Using FAA Part 5 SMS Database Tools

Which Part 5 SMS Database Solution?

Larger companies require more complex SMS programs than their smaller counterparts. Besides the basic "SMS Compliance" modules, you can add additional modules to enhance your SMS program.

After you have selected a solution and desired add-ons, most managers need to understand the next steps.

Next Steps

Most managers are interested in how much $$ your selected aviation SMS solution will cost. Pricing is dependent on the size of the company and how many additional features your SMS program requires. It is equitable that larger companies pay more than smaller companies for the same tools because more users are managed using the system. You can find pricing information here.

Onboarding (setup) costs are based on company size and complexity. Companies smaller than 100 employees typically have only one division, unless they have special considerations, such as having operations in multiple countries/regions. To learn more about divisions, see these following helpful articles:

Complex Operations
Complex operators may have

  • Multiple, semi-autonomous companies scattered across a region, or
  • Different types of aviation service providers in the same company (Scheduled, AMO, Charter, FBO).

In this case, complex operators may need more than one safety portal. Review this resource to learn whether another safety portal is recommended.


Formal Details - What Will We Do For You?

An Agreement for Services is a statement of work outlining service details you can expect from NWDS. Remember, you can cancel services at any time; therefore, an Agreement for Services is optional. You can download our boilerplate Agreement for Services here.

When you are ready to proceed, we will send you two invoices:

  • Onboarding fees; and
  • Annual subscription.

If you need to have Part 5 Automation Tool installed on your servers, there will be one invoice. Contact us for more details about having the Automation Tool installed on your servers. Most companies use our turn-key hosted service.

What Happens After Payment

Onboarding fees and the first year subscription payment is expected before we setup your aviation safety database. From experience, we found it is best to ensure these payment details are worked out before we engage in services.

For payments, we prefer wire transfers or ACH. Our automated invoicing system sends an invoice each year and once payment is received, you will be emailed a receipt.

Within two days after receiving setup fees, your portal will be created with your own dedicated safety URL, such as

Your safety portal will have your company branding, such as logo and an image representing your company's services.

How Long to Implement Our Safety Database?

After working with several hundred aviation service providers, we see that the average SMS Admin takes two weeks to prepare their safety database before releasing it to the entire company.

We have seen this process completed in as little as one week, and as long as one year. We don't pressure you.

Some SMS Admins have other tasks, such as flying duties. We understand these other duties take precedence and we don't feel it appropriate to increase your burden or stress levels. Accountable executives must understand that we will not serve as task masters.

After Your Safety Portal Has Been Created

Once we configure your safety portal, your SMS Admin will be contacted via email. An onboarding agent will work with your SMS Admin as closely as you need to ensure you receive all the help you require.

Note: to avoid communication conflicts, only one person from each company can communicate with NWDS support staff.

To prepare yourself for setup tasks, here is a list of expected steps to setup your safety portal. Notice the videos, such as:

  • Customizing Risk Matrix;
  • Customizing Login Page;
  • Configuring Airports;
  • Adding & Managing Users.

One of the most important elements to focus on is the SMS Induction Process. The Automation Tool will help automate the initial and recurring reactive risk management training that is required in SMS programs.

Getting Help With Your Safety Database

As stated, most companies take up to two weeks before allowing other employees access to the safety database. If your safety database is not ready within two weeks, the accountable executive should be asking "why isn't it ready?"

Your dedicated onboarding agent will work closely with the SMS Admin to facilitate the configuration of your safety database. This dedicated onboarding agent works with your SMS Admin until the SMS Admin is comfortable with the system (usually four to six weeks).

Once the SMS Admin is comfortable using the safety database, he will be encouraged to submit tech support questions to NWDS' support system at [email protected]. Support is commonly faster using this email ticketing system than with the onboarding agent.

Have More Questions?