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A B R I E F L O O K AT
S A F E T Y
M A N A G E M E N T
S Y S T E M S I N
A V I AT I O N
Air transportation receives
about 9.4 million passengers
every day. With substantial
traffic, the aviation sector is
subject to unpredictable
circumstances like bad weather
conditions, terrorism,
mechanical faults, and unsafe
flying zones. This shows that
safety is a key aspect of aviation.
Most aviation service providers
put all the necessary measures
in place to reduce the risk
associated with aviation mishaps
to the barest minimum. Aviation
safety management describes
all the processes and tools to
manage a well-defined safety
program.
Most airlines and aviation companies have their personalized
safety management system. However, the standardized Safety
Management System (SMS) outlines processes and guidelines
for ensuring safety. The SMS assesses every safety facet to
ensure that all operational risks are adequately mitigated.The
SMS is recognized by notable institutions in the aviation sector,
namely, Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA),the Joint Planning and
Development Office (JPDO), and the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO).
Among other benefits, SMS provides both the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and certificate holders with an official and
structured pattern of decision-making about safety risk
management. SMS helps aviation institutions improve risk
control protocols by adopting structured safety assurance
processes.SMS also helps them achieve safety management
capabilities even before system failure.
Aviation SMS is premised on recommendations or standards
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) outlined.
The guidelines stipulating how safety programs should be
executed at the state and individual operator levels can all be
found in Document 9859, also referred to as the "SMS Bible" of
the ICAO.Document 9859 contains all the necessary references
and answers to aviation safety management systems questions.
The document contains many materials, from SMS
implementation plans to gap analysis checklists.
The first framework of the SMS is the safety policy and objective
divided into three major elements: management commitment,
safety accountabilities,and the appointment of key safety
personnel. The framework's first element describes how any
organization's management must be committed to safety and
duly adhere to the provisions of the SMS.
Management should put all resources and policy measures in
place to implement the SMS provisions. An executive team
member should sign the management's commitment and duly
communicate it to everyone within the organization.
Another important element of the first pillar of the SMS is safety
accountability. An executive member should be designated
responsible for implementing the guidelines stipulated in the
SMS. The executive member should have a team of
accountability managers. These managers should be able to
decide on safety risk tolerability within the organization.
Regarding the appointment of key safety personnel,the third element of the first pillar of
the SMS is the appointment of key safety personnel. In addition to accountability
managers, management is responsible for appointing a safety manager who will
implement the provisions of the SMS. The structureshould be such that the safety
manager has direct access to the executive member in charge of SMS.
Subsequently,risk management and identificationcomprise the second pillar of risk
management.Hazard identification entails detectinghazards as early as possible before
they result in injury or loss of lives and properties.Hazard identification typicallyinvolves
developing a reportingsystem, regular inspections,and audits. On the other hand, risk
assessment involves categorizingand classifyingrisks based on extreme probabilityto
frequency.

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A Brief Look at Safety Management Systems in Aviation

  • 1. A B R I E F L O O K AT S A F E T Y M A N A G E M E N T S Y S T E M S I N A V I AT I O N
  • 2. Air transportation receives about 9.4 million passengers every day. With substantial traffic, the aviation sector is subject to unpredictable circumstances like bad weather conditions, terrorism, mechanical faults, and unsafe flying zones. This shows that safety is a key aspect of aviation. Most aviation service providers put all the necessary measures in place to reduce the risk associated with aviation mishaps to the barest minimum. Aviation safety management describes all the processes and tools to manage a well-defined safety program.
  • 3. Most airlines and aviation companies have their personalized safety management system. However, the standardized Safety Management System (SMS) outlines processes and guidelines for ensuring safety. The SMS assesses every safety facet to ensure that all operational risks are adequately mitigated.The SMS is recognized by notable institutions in the aviation sector, namely, Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA),the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Among other benefits, SMS provides both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and certificate holders with an official and structured pattern of decision-making about safety risk management. SMS helps aviation institutions improve risk control protocols by adopting structured safety assurance processes.SMS also helps them achieve safety management capabilities even before system failure.
  • 4. Aviation SMS is premised on recommendations or standards the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) outlined. The guidelines stipulating how safety programs should be executed at the state and individual operator levels can all be found in Document 9859, also referred to as the "SMS Bible" of the ICAO.Document 9859 contains all the necessary references and answers to aviation safety management systems questions. The document contains many materials, from SMS implementation plans to gap analysis checklists. The first framework of the SMS is the safety policy and objective divided into three major elements: management commitment, safety accountabilities,and the appointment of key safety personnel. The framework's first element describes how any organization's management must be committed to safety and duly adhere to the provisions of the SMS.
  • 5. Management should put all resources and policy measures in place to implement the SMS provisions. An executive team member should sign the management's commitment and duly communicate it to everyone within the organization. Another important element of the first pillar of the SMS is safety accountability. An executive member should be designated responsible for implementing the guidelines stipulated in the SMS. The executive member should have a team of accountability managers. These managers should be able to decide on safety risk tolerability within the organization.
  • 6. Regarding the appointment of key safety personnel,the third element of the first pillar of the SMS is the appointment of key safety personnel. In addition to accountability managers, management is responsible for appointing a safety manager who will implement the provisions of the SMS. The structureshould be such that the safety manager has direct access to the executive member in charge of SMS. Subsequently,risk management and identificationcomprise the second pillar of risk management.Hazard identification entails detectinghazards as early as possible before they result in injury or loss of lives and properties.Hazard identification typicallyinvolves developing a reportingsystem, regular inspections,and audits. On the other hand, risk assessment involves categorizingand classifyingrisks based on extreme probabilityto frequency.