SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Christopher Howell

Manage global operations for aviation safety management systems (SMS) software that facilitates regulatory compliance, such as ICAO, FAA, Transport Canada, IS-BAO. Manage software engineering support efforts to local Alaska businesses. Assist in design, implementation, testing and documentation of complex, three-tier Windows applications relying heavily upon secure Web services technology.
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Recent Posts

3 Tips to Enhance Aviation SMS Oversight

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 18, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Enhance SMS Oversight with Awareness

Knowing your aviation safety management system (SMS) is much like going on an extended backpacking trip.

To be safe, you need to be aware of:

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

When Employees Need More Hazard Identification Training - Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 13, 2019 6:19:00 AM

Misconceptions about Hazard Identification Training in SMS

Hazard Identification Training is not just for aviation safety officers.

Every area of an organization is exposed to different types of hazards, including, but not limited to:

  • Chemicals;
  • Electrical hazards;
  • Moving equipment; and
  • Untrained personnel.

Therefore, each area of an organization benefits from reduced risk from hazard identification training.

Does your company personnel need more or better hazard identification training? How can you tell?

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Topics: Risk Management Training

3 Goal-Setting Tips Using Aviation Key Performance Indicators - with Free KPI Resources

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 12, 2019 6:44:00 AM

Why Use Aviation Key Performance Indicators As Goals or Objectives

Setting goals and objectives for your aviation safety management system (SMS) is a requirement, i.e., not optional.

Become accustomed to this requirement. Embrace it. Realize organizational value from this requirement and stop squandering an excellent opportunity to improve operations and show that the SMS can become the promised "profit driver."

Don't believe you can pencil whip this requirement like so many safety managers today.


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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

How to Write Non-Punitive Reporting Policy for Aviation SMS Programs - Free Templates

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 10, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Purpose of Non-Punitive Reporting Policies in Aviation SMS Programs

Dedicated, hard-working safety managers drive the setup of airline and airports' aviation safety management systems (SMS).

These safety managers are often left to decipher ambiguous requirements that are open to multiple interpretations. This comes into play especially when upper management wants to "pencil-whip" an aviation SMS and merely check the boxes.

Most safety managers are not content to merely "check the box." They have integrity and want to do the right thing. After all, each of us wants to do the best job we can.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation, 1-Safety Policy, 2-Safety Risk Management

How to Monitor Aviation SMS Responsiveness Using Safety Charts

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 5, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Importance of SMS Performance Monitoring Charts

Aviation safety charts gather and present aviation safety management system (SMS) information to stakeholders, who can then use this information to make informed, fact-based decisions. Well-designed safety charts can take a complex idea and make it easily understandable with a simple picture, table, chart or graph. In this case, the "report" behind the safety chart could easily be worth more than a thousand words.

A common challenge accountable executives and senior management have is monitoring the performance of their implemented SMS. Regular SMS performance monitoring is an important responsibility for every accountable executive, as they are responsible to address substandard safety performance whenever it is identified.

Management will therefore need to measure SMS performance in order to identify performance shortcomings.

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Topics: Risk Management Software

What Is an Aviation Risk Management System?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 1, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Hazard Reporting Is Only the Beginning of Risk Management

Reporting hazards, incidents or accidents grabs considerable attention in every aviation safety and risk management system. Without reported data, safety managers would be unable to continuously improve systems' processes, which is a requirement in modern aviation safety management systems (SMS).

Before an "issue of concern" moves through the safety risk management process, the safety issue must be brought to the attention of a responsible manager, commonly called the safety manager or safety officer. Employees or other stakeholders identify potential hazards that may adversely affect operations. In response, these users report the safety concern proactively using the SMS' safety reporting system.

Alternatively, employees may submit an "issue of concern" reactively into the SMS' safety reporting system in response to:

  • accidents;
  • incidents;
  • irregularities and close calls.
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Topics: Risk Management Software

How to Prepare for Operational Safety Assurance in Aviation SMS?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 28, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Audit-Worthy Aviation SMS Implementations Take Considerable Time

Aviation service providers never implement their required aviation safety management system (SMS) quickly. In most cases, it will take three to five years for a medium to large aviation service provider to completely implement their SMS.

You may scrape by in the early stages by pencil-whipping SMS requirements into shape, but an SMS is more than policies and pretty, well-formatted aviation SMS manuals.

There will be considerable SMS documentation to generate and regular safety promotion activities to coordinate, such as:

  • safety newsletters,
  • safety surveys; and
  • safety meetings.

With all of this work, how will you ever make it to the safety assurance phase of your SMS?

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Understanding "Root Cause Analysis" Charts in Aviation SMS Dashboards

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 23, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Importance Monitoring Root Causes in Aviation SMS

Monitoring the performance of aviation safety management systems (SMS) is a common activity for safety managers and upper management alike. Furthermore, in every SMS, the accountable executive is responsible for directing actions to correct substandard safety performance whenever it is detected.

How is substandard safety performance detected in your organization?

How does management know which operational areas required additional risk mitigation measures?

Safety performance monitoring dashboards have become the most efficient manner for the accountable executive to regularly review organizational safety performance. Dashboard charts allow management to quickly review SMS performance and make operational adjustments as necessary by using real time data from the SMS database.

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Topics: Risk Management Software

How to Do Predictive Risk Management Data Mining in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 19, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Data Mining Is the Foundation of Predictive Risk Management

Predictive risk management is one of the primary goals of an aviation safety management system (SMS). Predictive risk management allows operators to identify safety issues and spot trends before they result in a

  • near-miss,
  • incident, or
  • accident.
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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

How to Tell If Aviation Safety Manager Is Doing Their Job

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Safety Managers Are Dedicated Lot

Aviation safety managers are among the best people I've ever worked with. What does this tell you? Maybe my exposure is severely limited?

During my life, I've worked a lot with:

  • Military officers;
  • Loggers;
  • Oilfield workers;
  • Government bureaucrats;
  • Medical professionals; and
  • Banking professionals.
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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

Site content provided by Northwest Data Solutions is meant for informational purposes only. Opinions presented here are not provided by any civil aviation authority or standards body.



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