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Setting up Safety Policies in Aviation SMS

Effective Aviation SMS requires the commitment and active participation of your senior management and also requires the involvement of all staff from within the flight organization.
Senior management of your flight organization can demonstrate commitment to Aviation SMS by providing adequate resources to operate flight operations, by providing training for flight staff and contractors, and by facilitating the flow of safety management information to all staff.
Aviation safety policy statements and principles for your organization need to be clearly defined. Aviation safety policy statements will outline your organizations fundamental approach to the management of aviation safety at your flight operations. Aviation safetypolicies should commit your organization to the fulfillment of that policy and this means a genuine commitment to achieving the policies— not just doing it to achieve aviation safety compliance.
Aviation safety objectives need to be set, along with the processes necessary to meet those aviation safety objectives. This will include organization of Aviation SMS, including the staffing arrangements, and the assignment of individual and group responsibilities on aviation safety matters.
Depending on the size of your organization it may be necessary to allocate "safety" responsibility to a specific person in each area of your organization. Critical areas and functions include both internal groups (e.g. flight operations reporting staff, airport lighting, airport maintenance, etc) and external agencies such as contractors, aviation consultants, suppliers, business partners, airlines and other service companies.

Eight-step process relates to any flight operation. Eight step process involves:

  1. Aviation Safety Policy
  2. Management accountability
  3. Establish process to manage flight-safety risks
  4. Setting up a aviation safety reporting system to record flight hazards, risks and actions taken
  5. Training and educating staff
  6. Auditing flight operations and investigating incidents and accidents
  7. Setting up aviation safety management system to control documentation and data
  8. Evaluating how aviation safety management system is operating

Aviation SMS Policy Checklist

Aviation SMS Policy Checklist Adapted From CASA

  • Does aviation safety management system commit senior management to be involved in Aviation SMS?
  • Has senior management approved flight organization’s aviation safety policy & operating safety standards?
  • Does aviation safety management system detail how aviation safety policy and aviation safety standards will be communicated to all staff, with visible endorsement by senior management?
  • Does aviation safety management system detail how appropriate resources will be allocated to support Aviation SMS?
  • Does aviation safety management system include process for senior management to establish appropriate reporting chain for flight-related safety issues?
  • Does aviation safety management system commit senior management to actively encourage staff participation in the SMS?
  • Have aviation safety policies been developed by management and staff?
  • Has Chief Executive Officer signed aviation safety policy?
  • Is aviation safety policy included in aviation safety management system?
  • Does aviation safety management system ensure safety policies align with other operational policies?
  • Does aviation safety management system detail how aviation safety policy will be communicated to staff?
  • Does aviation safety management system detail how aviation safety policy will be reviewed?
  • Does aviation safety management system commit operator to regular and routine reviews?
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