December 16, 2020


Presented by Sofema Aviation Services (SAS)

Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) Gap Analysis – Access Online Recourse

EASA Requirements related to FDM

The requirement to establish a flight data monitoring (FDM) program, as one of the minimum conditions for an EASA Member-State-based air operator to obtain and maintain an air operator certificate (AOC) is, as of October 2012 contained in Annex III (Part-ORO) to Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 (the Air Operations Regulation)1: ‘(a). The operator shall establish and maintain a flight data monitoring system, which shall be integrated into its management system, for aeroplanes with a maximum certificated take-off mass of more than 27 000 kg. (b).

Download EASA referenced guidance here.

The flight data monitoring system shall be non-punitive and contain adequate safeguards to protect the source(s) of the data.’

Flight data monitoring (FDM) can be a powerful tool for an aircraft operator to improve and monitor its operational safety. National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) of EASA Member States are responsible for the oversight of their national operators including their FDM programs.

Download the complete Gap Analysis Checklist here.


An effective Flight Data Monitoring Program enables an operator to identify, quantify, assess, and address operational risks. The FDM process inherently belongs to the Safety Management System (SMS) of an airline. In addition, it can be effectively used to support the analysis of a range of airworthiness and operational safety tasks.

Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the pro-active use of digital flight data from routine operations in order to improve safety. In Europe, an FDM program is mandatory for aeroplanes with a maximum certificated take-off mass (MCTOM) in excess of 27 000 kg and operated for commercial air transport.

Beyond this oversight function, NAAs should play a decisive role in coordinating a follow up through operators’ FDM programs of significant operational risks identified at the national or European level. Ultimately, this will promote enhanced monitoring of these risks by each operator, and this potentially can contribute to the State Safety Programme with information derived from FDM programs.

Performing oversight as part of an effective Safety Management System (SMS)

Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the pro-active and non-punitive use of digital flight data from routine operations to improve aviation safety.

Consider each of the following elements as a prerequisite for an effective FDM system in your organisation – Does your FDM deliver the following?

  1. Provide a high-level statement of your FDM system’s safety objectives.
  2. A formal policy to address the risk management and conditions of use of FDM data? Specific evidence.
  3. Evidence of a commitment to a non-punitive/just safety culture.
  4. Demonstrate the provision of resources for the capture, transcription, replay, and analysis of FDM data.
  5. Effectively Manage the Manning level to support an effective FDM system.

What are the manning levels/provision for your FDM program? (Consider approximate time spent on the review and assessment of events x the number of events)

Please see the full document in SAS Download Area.

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