SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

5 Things Spreadsheets Can't do For Your SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 23, 2018 4:59:00 AM

Better Alternatives to Spreadsheet-Based SMS

Spreadsheet-based safety programs are incredibly common. Many of you reading this use spreadsheets to manage your SMS activities, such as documenting:

  • Gap analysis;
  • Hazard reporting activity;
  • Training and qualifications tracking;
  • Hazard and risk register;
  • Audit management; and
  • Key performance indicators.

Electronic spreadsheets are a legacy of a time after the advent of computers.  How many of you remember Lotus 1-2-3? Yes, this was a DOS based spreadsheet, but it sure beat paper! Then Microsoft Windows came along and MS Excel offered a major improvement managing lists on paper. MS Excel became very common in business operations and it is natural that they find a use tracking safety activities.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

How to Tell if Your Risk Management Tools Are Good

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 27, 2018 4:38:00 AM

Purpose of Aviation Risk Management Tools

Aviation risk management tools are designed to help you manage exposure in your SMS. Managing exposure involves a lot more than just risk analysis.

To properly keep exposure within an Acceptable Level of Safety, you need risk management tools that address all areas of the SMS 4 Pillars.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

Pros and Cons of In-House SMS Database and Off-the-Shelf-Solutions (COTS)

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 15, 2017 5:53:00 AM

Consider Your Business Needs

Ultimately, choosing between custom-built, in-house aviation SMS software and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions comes down to three key considerations:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

What is the Part 5 Automation Tool?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Oct 12, 2017 4:00:00 AM

FAA Orders 14 CFR Part 5 for Part 121 Operators

In January 2016, SMS legal requirements went into effect for Part 121 operators. These requirements stem from the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) mandate:

"As of November 23, 2006 States shall require, as part of their safety programme, that an [operator, maintenance organization, ATS provider, certified aerodrome] implements a safety management system (SMS) accepted by the State that, as a minimum:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

5 Best Practices for Data Management in Aviation SMS Programs

Posted by Tyler Britton on Oct 11, 2017 6:08:00 AM

The Importance of Data in Aviation SMS Programs

High functioning safety management processes always have high quality data acquisition and management practices.

While the great majority of safety management system guidance is designed around the bureaucratic structure of your safety program, the basic fact is that aviation SMS programs depend as much (if not more) on bureacratic structure as on data management.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

What Good Hazard Reporting Process Look Like in Mature Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Oct 5, 2017 6:46:45 PM

What is the Hazard Reporting Process

Simply put, the hazard reporting process is the primary mode of data acquisition in aviation safety management systems (SMS). Being such, a poor hazard reporting process can literally break your SMS. If that sounds unrealistic, it’s not.

Without data:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

The Importance of Data Mining in SMS Programs

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 12, 2017 5:54:00 AM

What is Data Mining in SMS Programs?

Data mining is a critical risk management action safety managers need to take in their aviation SMS program to organize, understand, and process data. Data mining techniques can be performed with a modest aviation safety database and simple tools, or with complex software and professional aviation safety databases.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

Understanding Complex Aviation SMS Database Configurations - Portals

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jun 6, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Saving Money Implementing Aviation SMS Programs

Not all aviation service providers are created equal.

  • Charter operators;
  • Aviation maintenance organizations (AMO);
  • Flight schools; or
  • FBOs.

Other larger operators may be more complex, having parent companies with a combination of:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

Transparency and Aviation Safety Data Security - User Roles SetUp

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jan 25, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Transparency Is a Philosophical Question

As I have written before concerning transparency and Just Culture, a high level of transparency in aviation SMS programs is critical for creating:

I think most, if not all, aviation safety managers would agree with me on this. Aviation safety data security is commonly under control of an SMS administrator, who may also be the director of safety. These managers are safety professional and not data security professionals.

This is probably why safety managers have so many questions about how to set up users in their aviation safety management system (SMS) database program. For starters, they may be managing users' safety roles and permissions in different parts of their aviation safety database program. For example, one SMS software program may use:

  • Individual User Security Roles; and
  • Custom User-Access Roles.

The million dollar question is: "what is the best practice for organizing access to safety information?"

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

How to Use Divisions in SMS-Pro's Aviation Safety Database Program

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM

What Are Divisions in SMS-Pro

This is a question that comes up a lot.

Especially when we start throwing other words into the mix like:

  • Departments;
  • Portals; and
  • Management Portals.

It can get confusing quickly. Many people ask – what’s the difference?

Aviation safety database programs possess considerable flexibility and power. Scalable database programs can effectively serve either small, medium or large airlines and airports.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Database

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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