SMS Audit Report IDs Flight Departments’ Deficiencies

 - March 4, 2010, 10:49 AM

Argus released its annual SMS audit results report this week, with safety management systems (SMS) and emergency response planning having the highest number of deficiencies at corporate flight departments. The report, available online at no charge, is based on 61 audits completed by Argus subsidiary Pros (Partners and Resources for Operational Safety) last year. The audit identifies the areas that are most challenging for flight departments and provides recommendations regarding industry best practices. According to the report, 67 percent of the audited flight departments lacked an adequate internal evaluation plan, despite the fact that readily available FAA Advisory Circular AC 120-59A addresses this subject. The audit report also found that 44 percent of audited flight departments come up short in the area of safety committees. The recommended remedy here is to “require the safety committee to meet quarterly, publish an agenda, assign action items to individuals and track to completion.” Other soft spots included SMS training (41 percent); SMS manuals (34 percent); safety policy (31 percent); flight operations manuals (28 percent); risk assessment (28 percent); and hazard report and tracking (23 percent). “Safety is not a destination. It is a constantly changing, evolving and developing journey,” concluded Argus president and CEO Joseph Moeggenberg.