SMS Creates Inclusive Airport Environment
My field of study is aerospace management. In one path of this field alone, airport management, there are many different systems that require complex, diverse operations. Some of these systems are:
- Security operations; and
- Facility maintenance.
The one common thread between each of these systems is aviation SMS. In airport management SMS promotes personnel to manage risk more effectively, not matter the department. Because of this, SMS is an invaluable tool for airport managers to create an inclusive environment throughout the organization.
Resource: How to Implement SRM Process
SMS Training Is How You Build SMS
There is a saying I often heard in the military “we train how we fight.” This means that the training that personnel would undergo would be taken with the utmost seriousness. This practice has its merits as it:
- Better prepares us for the worst conditions; and
- Allows personnel to mitigate bad situations from getting worse.
Training is a metaphorical toolkit. When dangerous situations arise, personnel can search through their toolkit to find a solution or prevent something bad from happening. SMS training is an important tool in our toolkit as it prepares us for identifying and resolving safety issues.
Taking SMS training seriously reduces the probability of accidents by making personnel proactive.
Resource: How to Automate SMS Training
How SMS Has Affected Aviation Management
The largest factor that comes to mind when I think of the part SMS plays in aviation management is the progression of aviation. More private aircraft, small startup airlines, jets with larger payloads such as the A380, even the increase in the worldwide population warrants that more people will be moved by air travel in the future.
More lives passing through the hands of airports only increase the demand for safety. Studies still prove that air travel is still safer than travelling by car, but why is that? It’s because of everyday people in aviation striving to do their best.
In Pennsylvania we receive 50 hours of coached driving, tested by the Department of Transportation, then released into the world. We are often left without additional training such as accident avoidance.
In aviation however, pilots will undergo nearly 1,500 hours of flight time before they can even interview to fly a passenger jet liner as a first officer. From there the learning continues under the close observation of the captain and chief pilot. Aviation only remains safe because of:
- Extensive training;
- An industry wide commitment to continuous improvement of safety; and
- A “train how we fight” safety mentality.
The focus on extensive training with an emphasis on safety has transformed the aviation industry into the safest mode of travel in the world. Since the 1980s, the number of aviation accidents have dwindled drastically.
Resource: History of SMS and 4 Pillars
Use Recurring SMS Training to Overcome Apathy
Another lesson I learned from the military is that complacency kills—getting too comfortable in one particular area, so we allow ourselves to get into a routine and relax on policies or practices.
One of the best ways to combat complacency is ongoing (recurrent) training.
SMS is a critical training component for airport management because it:
- Pushes us to strive for the highest level of commitment;
- Instigates the proactive identification of possible issues (i.e.: obstructions on aircraft movement areas, threat of natural wildlife in vicinity of the runway and approach area, lighting and signage); and
- Addresses identified issues accordingly.
SMS is a tool for airport management to analyze risk in advance and act accordingly.
Published August 2018. Last updated September 2019.