Safety management is crucial for managing risks in a complex, socio-technical environment such as aviation. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires States to manage risks at the State level through the implementation of State Safety Programs (SSP). The main reason that a State implements an SSP is so that it can better manage aviation safety risks within its environment. Having a good understanding of its risks enables a State to take proactive actions to mitigate them and reduce the likelihood of those risks resulting in an accident or serious incident. A State would want to have good control and management of its safety performance.
As such, one of the key goals of the SSP is to achieve an Acceptable Level of Safety Performance (ALoSP). This document contains detailed guidance on the processes to achieve an ALoSP. This process starts with a State developing its risk picture; that is, forming a clear understanding of where the most significant risks are within its aviation system. The State then establishes clear safety objectives to focus its efforts on these most significant risks. The State sets indicators to monitor and measure those risks, and sets targets to bring them to within acceptable levels. The State would periodically review its performance against established objectives and determine if an acceptable level of safety performance has indeed been achieved. Mitigating measures may be adjusted and the safety objectives refined, as necessary. The risk picture itself will also change over time as existing risks are mitigated and new risks emerge. The cycle continues as the State improves on management of its aviation safety risks over time.
NOTE: Many ICAO Safety Management Panel (SMP) members and their respective Member States have asked ICAO to reconsider the concept of ALoSP, noting that it is better to focus on achieving safety objectives rather than assessing whether the level of safety performance is acceptable or not. “Acceptability” is not the ultimate goal; “improving the State safety performance” is the way forward. ICAO has tasked the SMP to review the concept and provide recommendations.