Baldwin Updates SMS Software in Europe

 - May 20, 2013, 6:20 AM

Safety and compliance company Baldwin Aviation is rolling out the latest version of its Savvy safety management software to European operators at EBACE 2013. To expand marketing efforts in Europe and the Middle East, Baldwin Aviation (Booth 1743) has hired a new European representative, Basel, Switzerland-based Margriet Bredewold.

Baldwin offers various levels of safety management system (SMS) as well as International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) implementation. Becoming IS-BAO registered includes SMS compliance, which is required by some countries, such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and is expected to become mandatory in European Union countries next year.

The new Savvy software was released in January and is much more customizable to the client’s needs, according to company founder, president and CEO Donald Baldwin. “It’s a lot more powerful and has a tremendous amount of capability far above what we used to have,” he said. “We can truly design a program around the operator and not vice versa.”

The biggest change to Savvy software is customization of data collection, which used to force operators to adjust their processes to match the data collection form. Now, Baldwin said, “We can create forms for collecting data customized to the operators’ needs.” This include risk assessments for flight and maintenance departments, hazard reporting forms and so forth.

Baldwin Aviation doesn’t just sell access to software, however, as it backs this up with safety experts with experience in business aviation, charter and helicopter operations. “Whether it’s a safety or an operational issue, any time you call our office, a human being is going to answer,” he said.

Baldwin Aviation programs are sold by subscription, which includes an initial fee to set up the program, then monthly fees. “Most of our clients have been smaller operators,” said Baldwin. For example, a European operator with two Embraer Phenom 300s is a Baldwin Aviation client. Others include operators with a single Boeing BBJ and a number of Fortune 500 companies. “We have the capability to service and design a system around any flight department, whether small or large,” he said.

A full IS-BAO implementation for an operator without an existing SMS could take from eight weeks to a year, depending on the operator. “We’ve had a few clients that got audited and IS-BAO registered in under 10 weeks,” Baldwin said. The benefits of an SMS, he added, are not just safety enhancement, but also quality improvements. “It does a lot to help an organization to be more efficient, to communicate better and to operate at a higher level,” he said.

Most Baldwin clients don’t allow the safety data collected in their SMS to be shared, Baldwin said. “When we first started, we were sharing client data,” which was stripped of any identifying information, “but, very quickly, clients told us they didn’t want that. Interestingly, as soon as the reporting was siloed and secured, reporting increased substantially.”

Regulatory requirements for SMS implementation are coming, Baldwin predicted. “We’ve been heavy into the education piece about SMS. I think most operators get the basics, but when they get into the details, there’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about SMS. We’re focused on trying to educate operators about the value and benefits.”