SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Approaches to Aviation SMS Implementation – Free Implementation Plan Checklist

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

Successful Aviation SMS Implementation Through Self-Reflection

The process of aviation SMS implementation in airports, airlines, and other aviation service providers is largely a process of understanding where many parts of your aviation safety program are, and what is needed to successfully reach the next step in your plan.

That sounds nice and easy on paper, but actual realities are quite a bit more complex.

The fact is that self-reflection in aviation safety programs is a difficult activity. This is mainly due to the reasons below, all of which highlight the fact that implementation in aviation SMS is always a study in relativity.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

The 13th Aviation SMS Human Factor -- Adopting Risk Attitude

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jul 28, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Risk Attitude is the Informal 13th Human Factor

When analyzing the types of actions and behavior to address during implementation, you have to consider the risk management attitudes of individuals, groups (e.g., departments), managers, and the organization as a whole.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

How to Evaluate Risk to Aviation Safety Management Programs

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 15, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Aviation SMS Implementations Have Risk!

Imagine you are the pilot recently assigned the "extra" task of being the safety manager of an existing aviation safety management system (SMS).

Or perhaps you are the safety manager who has worked hard for years and your SMS program is running very smoothly. Now what?

Every aviation SMS project has risk, just as any other project at your airline or airport.

When safety managers identify risk early, there is a higher chance that the aviation SMS implementation will succeed.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

Why Flight Schools Should Have Aviation SMS Programs

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jul 12, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Benefits of Aviation SMS for Flight Schools

Flight schools operate in considerable risk every day.

Students are inexperienced, usually younger, and are new to technology and hazards of flying.

Moreover, the pressure that students undergoing flight training feel to perform well naturally makes them less prepared to identify hazards early on.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

Is Your Aviation SMS Implementation a Farce?

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 3, 2016 11:45:59 PM

The Brutal Truth About Your Aviation SMS Implementation

If you cannot handle emotional pain or controversy today, please don't read this. I certainly don't mean to offend, but I have to say this:

Most airlines and airports are lying regarding their aviation SMS implementations.

What? We just spent tens of thousand dollars on aviation SMS implementation consultants and we don't have an SMS implementation?

Airline and airport safety managers need to sit down and ask some very blunt and possibly painful questions:

  • Is our aviation SMS program sustainable?
  • Are we merely checking the boxes? (pencil whipping)
  • If our safety manager leaves, will our SMS program survive?
  • Do we really have top management support?

 Most aviation SMS implementations fail at airlines and airports because of

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

Best Tip for Aviation Safety Assurance Monitoring

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 3, 2016 3:22:07 AM

Safety Assurance Monitoring Activities - Third ICAO SMS Pillar

Most safety managers immediately recognize ICAO's four pillars:

An interesting aside is that many Americans believe these four pillars were FAA's idea. Does your eyebrow raise at our arrogance or ignorance? The FAA seldom has an original idea, so I doubt the four pillars came from them. If someone knows where the four pillars originated, please advise. Maybe it was a MITRE SMS concept, as they produce very nice aviation SMS training materials.

Regardless, we (SMS Pro team) consider the ICAO Document 9859 the bible of SMS, but they don't specifically mention the "Four Pillars."

The point is "Safety Assurance." What does it mean and how does an airline or airport's safety team practice it?

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

3 Tips to Discover Resistance to Aviation Safety Program

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jul 1, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Troubleshooting the Aviation SMS Implementation

Fact: In most countries, aviation service providers must implement formal aviation safety management systems (SMS).

Fact: Most aviation safety managers tasked to implement SMS programs have primary duties outside the safety program. Their day jobs may be as pilots, airfield maintenance engineers, etc.

Fact: Most safety managers are lower in the organizational chart than department heads accustomed to doing business "the way we've always done it."

Fact: Most safety managers have difficulties learning who is subverting the boss' SMS program, that is, the mandated aviation safety management system.

How do you discover who is subverting your boss' SMS program?

Here are a few tactics that every airline or airport safety manager should be aware of.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

Aviation SMS Implementation Struggles and Solutions

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 21, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Conforming Aviation SMS Around Struggles

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) are now an FAA requirement for part 121 certificated operators.

Without having a verifiable SMS, operators will face denial of permits and other problems. For organizations that have only lightly dabbled with an SMS program and do not have a demonstrable program, they are now tasked with three things:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

5 Things You Should Know About Aviation SMS Programs

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 7, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Getting (Back) to the Basics of Aviation SMS

It’s easy to get absorbed in the gritty details of complex systems – this is especially true of aviation safety management systems.

For newcomers to the world of aviation SMS, it can seem overwhelming and daunting. For veterans, it’s easy to forget the core values.

For newcomers and veterans alike, reviewing the core principles of SMS can be refreshing:

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

FAA Part 5 Legislation - Professional Criticism - Good and Bad

Posted by Christopher Howell on Feb 26, 2016 6:00:00 AM

 I Hate FAA Part 5 Because...FAA Part 5 Legislation was slow in coming, but did it hit the mark with aviation SMS professionals

A well respected aviation SMS professional made a passing comment to me yesterday that prompts this interesting response. Please note, my thoughts are not always originally my own. This is not saying I'm a parrot, because I consider myself a "thinking" man and have an occasional "original idea."

A bit of background information is in line before I get to the meat.

Actor #1: The protagonist is a career FAA person with a very strong aviation safety background. He is highly educated and articulate. Let's call him "Retired FAA Safety Guy".

Actor #2: The recipient of the casual remark does not have a lengthy career in the aviation industry, but has been active in developing aviation safety management systems (SMS) solutions since 2007. We'll call this actor "cynical SMS professional." Yes, this is me.

The thought provoking remark is centered on Part 5 - Safety Management Systems.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation


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