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Advanced Aviation SMS: Science and Technology Required for Profits

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 8, 2021 5:45:00 AM Find me on:

Science and Technology in Aviation Business Drive Revenues

Advanced Aviation SMS: Science and Technology Required for Profits

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) needlessly continue to remain unprofitable after almost fifteen years.

Your aviation SMS also fails to produce profits. Why?

Science and technology are not applied with equal zeal as other high-tech-aviation systems. SMS economic disappointments are very easily seen in smaller operators with fewer than 500 employees. This inequality of high-technology adoption creates financial hardships for smaller operators without the education or capital to implement expert systems that minimize financial costs and human efforts required to demonstrate regulatory SMS compliance.

Small businesses must adopt science and technology to efficiently manage their required aviation SMS implementations. Otherwise, these businesses will languish in reduced profits. Many more will perish due to needlessly administering SMS documentation tasks that add little value to modern risk management processes.

I can help. I want to help. I am helping, in case you have not noticed. I'm also very qualified to offer this help.

First, you will need a fully-implemented aviation SMS and you must be able to influence the management of an SMS to apply principles I'm teaching in this Advanced Aviation SMS series.

Aviation SMS Is Business and Expects Financial Returns

Related Aviation SMS Implementation Articles

Why Listen to Me?

Where are your expected financial benefits that regulators promised in SMS guidance materials?

How can you get them?

Let me show you. I'm a trained, successful businessman and a highly skilled software technology professional. I do not need to spend my Saturday writing this article.

I write software code and develop enterprise-level databases.

Since 2007, I'm an actively practicing aviation SMS professional. I wrote much of SMS Pro, which is among the most popular aviation SMS databases. I am a creative genius who understands the synergistic, intertwined relationships between:

  • Business processes;
  • Business strategy;
  • Aviation safety;
  • Science; and
  • Technology.

Let's learn how to make money from your aviation SMS using science and technology. Without a doubt, I'm better suited and more qualified to discuss making money using technology than most aviation SMS consultants.

SMS Pro Fulfills SRM & SA Compliance Requirement

Americans Known for Business and Ingenuity

For the past two hundred years, Americans gained a reputation for generating wealth through the application of science and technology. The American mindset is suited for inventing because our country historically lacked the widely available human resources enjoyed by European and Asian countries. To clarify, when there are fewer people available to complete a task, managers must become "creative" and "inventive."

Europeans and Asians habitually throw masses of people at a problem. Americans are known for solving challenges using science and technology. This is why the United States enjoys a higher GDP per capita compared to countries relying on brute force instead of "brain power!" A higher GDP equates to increased productivity. This productivity emerges from repeated, creative applications of science and technology.

I myself, am a businessman who reached financial success after earning a Management Information Systems (MIS) college degree. This degree program consists of a blended curriculum of business management and software engineering. My other passions include organizational psychology, space exploration, and history. Consequently, I intimately follow human development and social evolution.

Management Information Systems are expert systems developed with the latest technologies to solve extant business challenges, such as satisfying the onerous documentation requirements found in required aviation SMS. SMS Pro is an example of an expert system designed to maximize wealth while satisfying regulatory SMS requirements.

One cannot argue that both science and technology are changing our world. Humans who eschew science and technology suffer unfathomable economic and social disadvantages.

The same applies to businesses.

Businesses neglecting to adopt modern, proven technologies to manage aviation SMS regulatory requirements are unwittingly handicapping their chances for financial success.

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SMS Is Business - Don't Forget!

SMS is the formal, top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls.
FAA definition.

Aviation SMS are formal business technologies. Technology is the application of machinery, equipment, and processes to solve real-world challenges.

Aviation SMS were designed to:

  1. amplify business effectiveness by reducing loss; while
  2. improving the aerospace transportation system.

However, the creative geniuses who designed SMS understood that SMS has the power to change the way aviation service providers conduct business. The SMS designers were not ignorant of the fact that businesses would not voluntarily sacrifice resources unless the ideas made "business sense."

Much of the early SMS literature echoed the designer's purpose with familiar words found in ICAO Document 9859 Safety Management Manual. I'm certain you've seen these ideas before. From ICAO Document 9859, section 3.3.1(d):

Individuals act and make decisions according to a common belief that safety is part of the way they do business;

SMS Is Business - Profits Are Expected!

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Science and Technology Driving Aviation SMS Efficiencies

Science and technology driving Aviation SMS efficiencies

By now, there should be no confusion that aviation SMS possesses core business functions designed to directly contribute to organizational financial success.

Is this what we have been seeing in the aviation industry? Not at all. I'm seeing disillusioned managers frustrated at spending huge sums of money without any expectation of return. They see SMS as a fine. They see SMS as a way for the government to control free enterprise. They don't see the money.


Aviation SMS implementations are being managed by aviation professionals and safety professionals, but not business and technology professionals. Without the direct inputs of ALL subject matter experts, these half-hearted SMS implementations will forever disappoint managers and stakeholders who naturally expect a return on their investments.

  1. Would you hire an aviation professional to implement an expert business management system?
  2. Would you hire a safety professional to design and develop a risk management database?

These are rhetorical questions that illustrate what I've seen in the aviation industry since 2007.

Aviation SMS will continue to disappoint until they are implemented in a holistic approach embracing knowledge gleaned from scientific and technological advances. An aviation SMS was not meant to be managed by brute human force. This is unreasonable thinking that many managers need to reevaluate.

Would you rather have a pilot managing your business's financial success or a business-school-educated college graduate? This is a secondary factor illustrating why most aviation SMS implementations fail.

Another secondary reason is that SMS documentation requirements span four separate subsystems. An aviation SMS is a system of subsystems that are broken into four identifiable components:

  • Safety policy;
  • Safety risk management;
  • Safety assurance; and
  • Safety promotion.

You will assuredly recognize these four pillars.

Related Aviation SMS Articles

SMS Documentation Not Meant for Manual Methods

If you believe that an SMS can be implemented and maintained without modern science and technology, then I have only one response: "You don't understand SMS."

If you maintain this false belief and you are an SMS consultant, you are providing a disservice to your clients.

If you are the accountable executive and want your safety team to manage SMS documentation using spreadsheets and home-grown databases, then you will lose money. Guaranteed. This is a no-brainer. Don't set up your safety team for failure. They need tools that include the latest scientific and technological advances. The technology will pay for itself if you sincerely implement the aviation SMS as the founding creators envisioned.

How can I back this up?

I know the SMS requirements. I have read in entirety every version of ICAO Doc 9859 as I developed the popular SMS Pro database. I also read SMS guidance materials from the most active regulatory agencies, including; Australia CAA, FAA, Transport Canada, and EASA. After fifteen years of developing aviation SMS databases, I've become an undeniable SMS expert.

In order to develop cost-saving tools, software engineers must understand aviation SMS requirements much better than SMS practitioners. Consequently, our team of MIS college graduates is highly qualified to deliver a business solution and not merely an "aviation solution."

In short, we understand SMS requirements and know that sustainable SMS initiatives will always fail unless supported by modern science and technology.

Still not convinced?

You don't really thoroughly understand a topic until you can teach that topic. I can and have taught this topic. I also manage other SMS trainers as well as other senior-level SMS Pro developers. I'm not selling anything here. You can take my word for it, but if your SMS remains unprofitable, then you should consider a change of perspective.

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Which Science and Technology Applies to Aviation SMS?

Now that we've established that you have no chance for sustained SMS success without the use of science and technology, it is time to reduce ambiguity and provide details. Which sciences and technological areas have I been referring to?

Some areas are incredibly intuitive; however, there may be some that may cause a mental double-take. In this Advanced Aviation SMS series, I illustrate methodologies to evolve your aviation SMS implementation into a profit driver. I'll be discussing a wide range of technologies and sciences, including:

  • Computing and Database Technology;
  • Social Sciences;
  • Organizational Behavior;
  • Psychology;
  • Business Management and Marketing;
  • Micro-economics and Macro-economics;
  • Strategic Business Management;
  • Accounting; and
  • Biology.

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Final Thoughts on Using Science and Technology

SMS professionals use science and technology

After fourteen years of managing the development and support of a popular aviation SMS database, I've learned many skills from aviation professionals. I love working with aviation industry professionals. They are quality people!

Not only do I manage a team of software engineers, but I also market the SMS Pro database.

I admit, I'm not a very good marketer, but this activity allows me to become directly educated by aviation professionals as to their needs. I also learned challenges and realities faced by safety and quality professionals across the entire world.

If you know us, you know by now that I don't call up people to convince them to buy the SMS Pro database.

Our marketing strategy is to attract clients by providing exceptional service that promotes word-of-mouth advertising. The strategy obviously works. Regardless, I consider myself neither an effective marketer nor a salesperson. My skills and passion focus on science and technology.

Besides myself, other SMS professionals in my sphere of influence sense, operators' disillusionment in SMS' promised benefits. Operators see SMS as an obligatory necessity to conduct business. This "obligation" sours attitudes and closes our minds to opportunities that would otherwise seem evident. Realistically, operators would never implement SMS voluntarily unless they saw "pay value."

I've seen failed SMS implementations every year for the past ten years.

Operators' SMS implementations fail because they were implemented with imperfect information and imperfect technologies. We can fix this. An SMS can generate profits and I will continue to show you how.

First steps:

  1. Realize that an aviation SMS can generate profits beyond the scope of safety;
  2. Obtain top management support before seeking profits;
  3. Understand that SMS documentation requirements require advanced technologies to drive profits.

This looks pretty simple. All three points above are required to generate profits from your SMS.

Related Article

The Longer You Wait, The More Opportunities Missed

A failing SMS implementation stunts employee morale.

A failing SMS implementation is not collecting valuable data useful in identifying opportunities.

The longer you wait, the more opportunities will be forever removed beyond your reach.

An aviation SMS database helps you capture these opportunities and also allows you to easily demonstrate regulatory SMS compliance. These short demo videos provide a glimpse into this modern technology.

Watch SMS Pro Demo Videos

Last updated in May 2024.

Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation, Quality-Safety 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.



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