Sector Safety Risk Profiling at the State Level

Sector Safety Risk Profiling at the State Level


Due to the growing complexity of the aviation industry, new approaches should be considered for identifying, understanding, and managing risks across all elements of the aviation system. Regulators have traditionally conducted safety oversight at the individual product or service provider level or across very wide sectors of the aviation community, such as “commercial operations” or “general aviation.” This approach can limit the ability to provide risk information that may be inherent in, and cross into, other product or service provider operations. Identifying sectors in the State’s aviation system helps regulators and service providers identify and manage risks inherent in the sector and also provides insight into risks that may exist elsewhere in the system.

A safety sector is a subset of the aviation industry that shares similar characteristics. A sector may consist of a group of related aviation products, services, organizations, or activities that may be, but are not restricted to, certain rule parts or certificate types. A component of effective safety management is identifying and analyzing shared or common risks across all sectors. Certain sectors may have unique and self-contained safety risk, while some sectors may share the same safety risks.

To improve State safety performance, it is important to develop a more nuanced understanding of the key risks faced by aviation sectors, and to improve the effectiveness of both industry and the regulator in managing those risks. As part of managing safety performance, industry organizations and the regulator should collaborate to identify, categorize, mitigate, and monitor sector risks. Developing sector risk information from multiple product or service providers with common traits and characteristics will improve the regulator’s risk-based oversight. It will also inform product and service providers of the risks identified or experienced by others conducting similar activities.

The ultimate purpose of sector risk profiling is to support participants in managing their operation’s safety risk, thereby improving the level of safety in the aviation sector. An effective Sector Risk Profile (SRP) will also inform the State on the best areas to focus its regulatory response and resources.

Sector risk profiling can be considered while developing, maintaining, and executing the State’s National Aviation Safety Plan (NASP) to support the management of areas of greater risk and execution of the State Safety Program (SSP). Figure 1 above shows the relationship between SMS oversight, the SSP, and SRPs.

A key benefit of an SRP is achieved when both regulators and service providers collaboratively assess risks, determine which risks apply, and then implement actions to mitigate those risks.

By effectively assessing and addressing risk within a sector, the overall accident rate and costs to the sector can be reduced.

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Related Documents

In addition to the Sector Safety Risk Profiling at the State Level document, the SM ICG developed two additional related guidance documents that support both compliance-based and performance-based oversight methods. They also developed a factsheet to describe all three documents. All documents are available through the links below.


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