SMS Creates Inclusive Airport Environment
My field of study is aerospace management. In one path of this field alone, airport management, there are many different systems that require complex, diverse operations. Some of these systems are:
- Security operations; and
- Facility maintenance.
The one common thread between each of these systems is aviation SMS. In airport management, SMS promotes personnel to manage risk more effectively, no matter the department. Because of this, SMS is an invaluable tool for airport managers to create an inclusive environment throughout the organization.
SMS Training Is How You Build SMS
There is a saying I often heard in the military “we train how we fight.” It means that the training a person would undergo with the utmost seriousness. This practice has its merits as it:
- Better prepares us for the worst conditions; and
- Allows personnel to mitigate bad situations from getting worse.
Training is a metaphorical toolkit. When dangerous situations arise, personnel can search through their toolkit to find a solution or prevent something bad from happening. SMS training is an important tool in our toolkit as it prepares us for identifying and resolving safety issues.
Taking SMS training seriously reduces the probability of accidents by making personnel proactive.
Related Aviation SMS Training Articles
- How to Automate SMS Training
- Training Management in Aviation SMS
- Most Important Safety Training in Aviation Risk Management
How SMS Has Affected Aviation Management
The largest factor that comes to mind when I think of the part SMS plays in aviation management is the progression of aviation. More private aircraft, small startup airlines, jets with larger payloads such as the A380, and even the increase in the worldwide population warrant that more people will be moved by air travel in the future.
More lives passing through the hands of airports only increase the demand for safety. Studies still prove that air travel is safer than traveling by car, but why? It’s because the everyday person in aviation strives to do their best.
In Pennsylvania, we receive 50 hours of coached driving, tested by the Department of Transportation, then released into the world. We are often left without additional training such as accident avoidance.
In aviation, however, pilots will undergo nearly 1,500 hours of flight time before they can even interview to fly a passenger jetliner as a first officer. From there the learning continues under the close observation of the captain and chief pilot. Aviation only remains safe because of:
- Extensive training;
- An industry-wide commitment to continuous improvement of safety; and
- A “train how we fight” safety mentality.
The focus on extensive training with an emphasis on safety has transformed the aviation industry into the safest mode of travel in the world. Since the 1980s, the number of aviation accidents has dwindled drastically.
Related Aviation SMS Articles
- History of SMS and 4 Pillars
- Are Aviation SMS Implementations Different for Airports, Airlines, MROs?
- Most Common Aviation Risk Management Challenges at Airlines & Airports
Use Recurring SMS Training to Overcome Apathy
Another lesson I learned from the military is that complacency kills—getting too comfortable in one particular area, so we allow ourselves to get into a routine and relax on policies or practices.
One of the best ways to combat complacency is ongoing (recurrent) training.
SMS is a critical training component for airport management because it:
- Pushes us to strive for the highest level of commitment;
- Instigates the proactive identification of possible issues (i.e.: obstructions on aircraft movement areas, the threat of natural wildlife in the vicinity of the runway and approach area, lighting, and signage); and
- Addresses identified issues accordingly.
SMS is a tool for airport management to analyze risk in advance and act accordingly.
Last updated April 2023.