SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Tyler Britton

350,000 words and counting on safety risk management concepts, guidance, tools, and best practices.

Recent Posts

Do You Really Know What’s Going On in Your Aviation SMS Program?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 28, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Too Complex for One Person

The long and short of is this: don’t fool yourself. You’re just one person. One component in the clock that makes your aviation safety management system (SMS) tick.

Don’t get me wrong, as an aviation safety manager, inspector, executive, etc. you may be central in keeping the word safety in your SMS program. The basic fact remains that the weight and complexity inherent in all SMS programs – even small programs – are quickly outstripping anyone’s ability to be in the know of everything.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

Aviation Risk Management 101

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 22, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Responsibility for Aviation Risk Management

Aviation risk management is the backbone and general goal of modern aviation safety management systems (SMS).

Developing the maturity of an aviation SMS program is tantamount to cultivating more sophisticated, accurate, and proactive risk management strategies.

Responsibility in aviation risk management is kind of a messy word. Historically and structurally, aviation SMS programs are depicted as being top-down.

The clean answer as far as "who has responsibility for risk management" is that management does.

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

3 Things Proactive Aviation Safety Managers Do Every Day

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 15, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Proactive Aviation Safety Managers: Diverse Skills

There are many ways to describe what an aviation safety manager does. They are associated with phrases as “plate spinners,” “wear many hats,” and “task jugglers.” For good reason too.

Aviation safety is a complex beast that requires diverse expertise to properly spearhead.

Among other things, safety managers are responsible for everything from:

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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

Why Employees Can’t Stand Aviation SMS Training

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 25, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Aviation SMS Training Resistance More than Just “Boring”

I hardly need to point out how critical aviation SMS training is for the ongoing success of any aviation safety program.

Operators with well-developed safety training strategies often reap the benefits of a resilient, high functioning aviation safety management system (SMS).

Effective SMS training can mean the difference between obligatory aviation risk management performance and willing, highly active SMS participation by all employees.

Too bad so many employees can’t stand training.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance

What Does "Aviation Risk Management" Really Mean?

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 18, 2022 6:00:00 AM

“Aviation Risk Management” Is a Vague Phrase

It occurred to me recently that the phrase “aviation risk management” gets thrown around in many different contexts, both by myself and anyone else writes about aviation safety management systems (SMS). While “aviation risk management” gives the impression of being a single, solid idea – something to attain for – in reality, it is a phrase that means many different things depending on the context.

It can be as much:

  • A “thing”;
  • As an adjective;
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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

5 Things You Should Know about Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 11, 2022 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 (SMS).

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:

  • Why does SMS work?
  • How does it work?
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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

Safety Chart: How to Monitor Aviation SMS Task Performance

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 27, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Importance for Visualizing Management's Risk Management Performance

Aviation safety charts gather and present aviation safety management system (SMS) information to stakeholders, who can then use this information to make informed, fact-based decisions. Safety charts can also influence safety culture, either for the better, or for the worst.

We started creating performance monitoring dashboards for managers approximately ten years ago. By far, the most talked about safety chart in the SMS database is the on-time task performance chart. When all employees and management have transparent visibility into the aviation SMS, management is held to a higher level of accountability.

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Topics: Risk Management Software

Safety Chart: How to Track Safety Reporting Performance in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 6, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Global Problem of Safety Reporting Performance

Employee involvement in aviation safety management systems (SMS) is a major struggle for countless organizations.

The unfortunate fact – and this is something we hear regularly – is that finding good safety incentives and accountability for employees' safety performance in aviation SMS implementations is tough.

One of the primary problems here is the “so what” factor.

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Topics: Risk Management Software

How to Define Severity and Likelihood Criteria on Your Risk Matrix

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 30, 2022 5:32:00 AM

What Is a Risk Matrix Used for in Aviation Risk Management

The risk matrix is the standard risk assessment tool in aviation SMS and other risk management industries. It’s a standard tool because it’s simple and accomplishes all of the needs of a risk assessment, namely:

  • Rank safety concerns;
  • Understand if an issue’s risk is “tolerable”;
  • Ensure assessments are consistent; and
  • Ensure assessments are easy and intuitive to perform.
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Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

Safety Chart: Mandatory vs. Voluntary Aviation SMS Issues to Report

Posted by Tyler Britton on Feb 2, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Why Mandatory vs. Voluntary Safety Reporting Chart Is Important

We generally think of aviation safety management system (SMS) charts as being visual representations of various pieces of safety data. This safety data commonly comes from performance-based data or classification-type data.

Performance based data may include:

  • How many safety reports submitted within past month?
  • Percentage of safety reports closed on time;
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Topics: Risk Management Software

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