The key focus of this report
is about Safety Management Systems. The scope of the report will cover its core
components and elements and its importance in the aviation sector. Lastly, the
objective of this report is to show a clear understanding about Safety
Management Systems and its importance.
2. Safety Management System
I believe Safety Management
System is an effective tool or way used by aviation organizations which
comprises of various to manage safety and mitigate risks. As per the definition
by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Annex 19, a Safety
Management System is “A
systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational
structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures”.
With reference to Annex 19 on ‘Safety Management’ and
Safety Management Manual (SMM) Doc 9859 published by the International Civil
Aviation Organization, the 4 pillars, as known as the 4 components are Safety
policy and objectives, Safety risk management, Safety assurance and Safety
promotion respectively. And the 4 components consist of 12 critical elements.
The first element within ‘Safety policy and
objectives’ is ‘Management commitment and responsibility’.
Importance of a Safety Management System
Regarding the importance of a Safety Management
System, I believe it to be highly important as humans are omnipresent in the
aviation industry, thus making it error prone and high risk.
According to report published by the Bureau of Bureau of Air Safety
Investigation (BASI), a research was conducted on the 75 fatal airplane
accidents which occurred in the period 1 January 1988–31 December 1990. It
showed that 72% of accident factors involved pilot factors. Furthermore, the
most common pilot factors that led to a fatal accident were poor judgement and
For example, December 28, 1978, the crew of a United Airlines flight
173, a DC-8 were distracted for so long by a landing gear problem that they
eventually ran out of fuel. Also contributing to the accident was the failure
of the other two pilots to fully comprehend the criticality of the fuel state and
successfully communicate their concern to the captain. Thus the National
Transport Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that airlines have a crew resources
management (CRM) training to ensure that flight crew apply principles of
judgement and teamwork. And in 1994, the ICAO Air Navigation Commission
reviewed Annex 6 (Operation of Aircraft) and adopted a proposal to include a
Standard in Annex 6.
With reference to Chapter 9, paragraph 9.3.1 of Annex 6 Part 1 and Doc
9683 ‘Human Factors Training Manual’ published by the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO), ICAO made it mandatory for civil aviation
administrations and for operators who must include human performance training
in their operational personnel training circular.
Therefore, a safety management system is important to
assess and mitigate risks.