SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

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 Real SMS Program

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 SMS programs. Being such, a poor hazard reporting can literally break your SMS program. 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

How to Setup Aviation Safety Database Solutions for ICAO SMS Programs

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 29, 2016 6:00:00 AM

High Expectations and Fear Toward Safety Database Complexity

Each day, I speak to at least four safety managers as they search for an aviation safety database solution to satisfy their ICAO SMS, or regional civil aviation authority (like FAA, Transport Canada, EASA, CASA) SMS requirements.

Safety managers are apprehensive

  • to make the wrong decision as to which SMS software solution to choose;
  • whether their SMS database is flexible to change as their company changes; and
  • about what is required of them once they choose their safety database.

All safety managers know that the solution they choose will be better than what they currently have, whether their existing aviation SMS solution is:

  • Paper based;
  • Excel spreadsheets; 
  • Home-grown Web solution cobbled together by power users; or
  • MS Access database created by a long-gone employee who had a clear vision.

In this article, we go through the steps an SMS Admin would go through when setting up their aviation safety database.

This article will serve four purposes:

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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:

  • Just Culture.
  • A reporting culture.
  • A culture of safety.

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

Learn How to Choose an Aviation Safety Database Solution

Posted by Christopher Howell on Dec 11, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Which Aviation Safety Database Should We Choose?

Aviation safety managers become apprehensive at certain points of their careers. We see this frequently when:

  • They are making a decision to purchase an aviation safety database solution; or
  • They are setting up a new safety database for their SMS program; or
  • They are assigned to manage an existing aviation SMS database program.

This article will serve two purposes:

  1. Act as a guideline for selecting a new aviation SMS database; and
  2. Serve as a review for safety managers reviewing their existing safety database implementations.
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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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