SMS in the Airline Industry


To improve on existing levels of aviation safety in the light of the continuing growth of the industry, additional measures are needed. One such measure is to encourage individual operators to introduce their own Safety Management System. Such a system is as important to business survival as a financial management system and the implementation of a Safety Management System should lead to achievement of one of civil aviation’s key business goals: enhanced safety performance aiming at best practice and moving beyond mere compliance with regulatory requirements.

ICAO Requirements

ICAO Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes, and Part III — International Operations — Helicopters, requires States to establish a safety programme in order to achieve an acceptable level of safety in the operation of aircraft. As part of their safety programme, States require operators to implement an accepted safety management system (SMS).

An SMS allows operators to integrate their diverse safety activities into a coherent system. Examples of safety activities that might be integrated into an operator’s SMS include:

a) Hazard and incident reporting;

b) Flight Data Analysis (FDA);

c) Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA); and

d) Cabin Safety

EASA Requirements

EU-OPS 1.037 requires that:

(a) An operator shall establish and maintain an accident prevention and flight safety programme, which may be integrated with the Quality System, including:

(1) Programmes to achieve and maintain risk awareness by all persons involved in operations; and

(2) An occurrence reporting scheme to enable the collation and assessment of relevant Incident and accident reports in order to identify adverse trends or to address deficiencies in the interests of flight safety. The scheme shall protect the identity of the reporter and include the possibility that reports may be submitted anonymously; and

(3) Evaluation of relevant information relating to incidents and accidents and the promulgation of related information, but not the attribution of blame; and

(4) A flight data monitoring programme for those aeroplanes in excess of 27 000kg MCTOM. ... The flight data monitoring programme shall be non-punitive and contain adequate safeguards to protect the source(s) of the data; and

(5) The appointment of a person accountable for managing the programme.

(b) Proposals for corrective action resulting from the accident prevention and flight safety programme shall be the responsibility of the person accountable for managing the programme.

(c) The effectiveness of changes resulting from proposals for corrective action identified by the accident and flight safety programme shall be monitored by the Quality Manager.

Further Reading






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