Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar: SMS Implementation Tools

 - May 25, 2010, 7:01 AM

Several of the most influential corporate aviation organizations offer specific tools to assist in implementation of SMS programs, according to John Sheehan, audit manager for the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). In addition to the IBAC’s Risk Analysis Guidelines, he listed the organization’s booklet “SMS Tools” for achievement of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). Sheehan also recommended the ICAO Safety Management Manual, and the FAA Safety Management System Implementation Guide. The FAA has yet to issue formal SMS standards and procedures.

Sheehan said that on average it takes six months to develop an aviation department SMS, and as long as a year depending upon the operation’s commitment to the process, the size and complexity of the operation, the company culture and what is already in place. He listed a 12-step program to IS-BAO certification and establishing an effective SMS. Among the more important were senior management commitment, identifying the accountability of individuals assigned specific responsibilities, having a procedure for changing program management to retain flexibility and responsiveness, and tracking and evaluating safety management activities. Citing the usefulness of the IBAC Risk Analysis Guidelines and the FSF Alar (approach/landing accident) and CFIT tools, Sheehan advised, “You can’t measure safety, but you can measure risk.”