SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Tyler Britton

350,000 words and counting on safety risk management concepts, guidance, tools, and best practices.

Recent Posts

Understand Aviation SMS KPIs Lagging and Leading Indicators

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Why Aviation KPIs Lagging and Leading Indicators Are Important

Lagging and leading indicators for aviation safety management systems (SMS) key performance indicators (KPIs) are often confused or misunderstood.

Even various online sources have conflicting, vague, or incomplete explanations of the difference between lagging and leading indicators.

Read More

Topics: Key Performance Indicators

3 Important Aspects of Safety Performance Indicators in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 15, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Understanding What Safety Performance in Aviation SMS Is

Safety performance in aviation safety management systems (SMS) can be difficult to fully comprehend because it involves so many different moving parts. In general we understand safety performance as involving the:

  • Ability to comply with regulations of oversight agencies;
  • Ability to monitor operational safety performance;
  • Risk management processes to mitigate risk and monitor risk controls;
  • Data management capabilities to set and monitor safety goals and objectives; and
  • Ability to meet organization-specific KPIs related to safety goals.
Read More

Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

3 Levels of Aviation SMS Operational Excellence

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 14, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Aviation SMS Structure Is the Backbone of a Safety Program

The management of aviation safety is a shared responsibility among all levels (i.e., stakeholders) of an organization.

Top management has to set the basis for establishing

  • safety culture,
  • safety policy,
  • protections to employees, and
  • the structure for controlling risk.

Middle management is delegated with tasks to ensure the organizational aviation safety management system (SMS) goals and objectives align with senior management's organizational goals . And the actual work behind an aviation SMS' risk management processes happens at the ground level with the behavior of employees. Employees are safety performance monitors, remaining ever vigilant of hazards and reporting potential safety concerns as they are identified.

From the bottom up, every employee has his/her duties to satisfy operational safety performance.

Read More

Topics: Risk Management Software

How to Show Employees That Your Aviation SMS Is Effective

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 11, 2019 5:09:00 AM

Benefits of Showing Employees That Your SMS Is Effective

Showing employees that your SMS is effective is simply building your case for the SMS. That being said, there are several prerequisites for being able to show employees that your SMS is effective:

Read More

Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Safety Chart: How Effective Is Hazard Identification Training in Aviation SMS?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 10, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Aviation SMS New Employee Integration Time

The oil industry, which in terms of safety standards is rather similar to the aviation industry, provides a great example with its statistic that over 50% of all accidents are caused by employees with less than 1 year of experience in their current work environment.

When airlines, airports, and other aviation service providers hire new employees, those employees pose a significant risk so long as they are unfamiliar with their new:

Read More

Topics: Risk Management Software

What Good Aviation Safety Leadership Looks Like

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 9, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Aviation Safety Leadership Is NOT Safety Management

Aviation safety managers and departments heads are tasked with delivering aviation safety management AND safety leadership capabilities.

“Leadership” and “management” are often used interchangeably both in speech and action, but contrary to common practice they are NOT the same thing.

Read More

Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

Safety Chart: How to Monitor Aviation Risk Management Priorities Using Heat Maps

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 8, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Monitor SMS Performance in Real Time

 Safety teams and the accountable executive are expected to regularly review the performance of their implemented aviation safety management system (SMS). A regular review of the SMS is important to ensure that any substandard safety performance is addressed in a timely fashion.

Most aviation service providers are storing their SMS data in SMS databases. An SMS database provides the accountable executive with an efficient way to monitor SMS performance in real time. Otherwise, safety data will be in spreadsheets and paper that are not readily accessible to senior management. Consequently, senior management has little assurance that safety issues are being addressed according to policy.

Read More

Topics: Risk Management Software

3 Most Common (Unknown) Mistakes in Aviation SMS Implementations

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 7, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Seeking Out Mistakes in Aviation SMS Implementations

Being honest about mistakes is hard.

It’s even harder to try and seek out mistakes you are making that you do not know you are making.

In aviation safety management systems (SMS), safety managers are tasked with actively exploring, understanding, and seeking out failures in the program in order to improve them. Even unknown failures are holes in the safety structure of the SMS.

In many significant ways, the success of aviation SMS implementations depends on how honestly and thoroughly such failures are addressed.

Read More

Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Overcoming Most Common Aviation SMS Implementation Challenges - Free Resources

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 6, 2019 4:39:00 AM

Plans and Challenges of Implementation

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) implementation takes a long time to fully mature, usually three to five years if you are lucky.

Once there, your SMS will continually be tweaked and updated, which of course requires further implementation and monitoring.

Long story short, implementing an SMS is a leviathan of a task and needs a thoughtful, detailed plan. Of course, don't forget that persistence pays off, as there may be a few "false starts" that require backpedaling to refocus your efforts.

In addition, your SMS will be impeded by constant challenges, including:

Read More

Topics: 1-Safety Policy

What Types of Risk Assessments You Should Perform in Aviation Safety

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 4, 2019 5:17:00 AM

What is a Risk Assessment

Airport SMS programs and Airline SMS programs need use a formal process for ranking various risks. Risk assessments satisfy this need and, based on your Acceptable Level of Safety policy, allow you to know which actions to take next on the issue you are assessing.

Read More

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.



Benefits of SMS Pro Database

Request live demo to learn about aviation safety management system database software

Best Practices for Aviation SMS


Watch SMS Pro Demo Videos

These two on-demand videos offer:

  • High-level overview of SMS Pro;
  • Hazard Reporting & Risk Management walk-through.
Watch SMS Demo Videos

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts