Baldwin Introduces Alaska-oriented SMS Program

 - January 7, 2021, 11:40 AM
Juneau-based Part 135 operator Alaska Seaplanes has become a launch customer for Baldwin Safety and Compliance's Alaska Aviation Safety Exchange.

Baldwin Safety and Compliance has rolled out a safety management system/quality management system program for operators in Alaska with the Juneau-based Part 135 commuter operator, Alaska Seaplanes, as a launch customer.

The Baldwin Alaska Aviation Safety Exchange is a customizable and scalable program that provides access to data, forms, reports, manuals, and other tools necessary for Alaska operations. Subscribers can share de-identified safety data within the Baldwin program and/or the FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing database to facilitate lessons learned among participants.

Baldwin further is providing round-the-clock safety team resources and support. The program is designed for use from the single-fixed-wing or helicopter operator to a carrier with hundreds of aircraft.

Alaska Seaplanes went live with its program in December, noted Ken McLure, Alaska Seaplanes director of safety and compliance. “The big difference for Alaska Seaplanes was that the Baldwin system was customizable and flexible enough to adapt to our operation, and it did not require reworking our processes to integrate with the software,” McLure said. “I am already receiving great feedback on the data we are collecting, and many members of the team are providing input and suggestions for small changes that have been very simple to make.”

This is key he added, because “Alaska is a unique place to fly and operations here have many challenges that operators in the lower 48 will never experience. From seasonal staffing swings to water landings and limited controlled airspace, we have distinctive risks to consider.” He further praised assistance the program gave for its flight risk assessment tool.

Baldwin president and founder Donald Baldwin noted the “extraordinary conditions” the operator faces on a regular basis and the challenges it was having trying to develop its own SMS system. “We wanted to provide a customized SMS/QMS solution that would support the specific Alaskan operational and regulatory standards and emergency response environment,” he said.

Baldwin is expected to introduce a similar program for aviation operators in Hawaii shortly, he added. The programs come as the aviation industry prepares for anticipated SMS mandates in 2022.