Ten years ago, a statistic surfaced that stated that one-million people at any given time are boarded, en-flight at any given time. This figure is expected to grow to two million within another decade. Due to this expected growth in air transportation, aviation safety experts have been working on understanding and improving aviation safety. In order to analyze an abstract object, we must ask: What is aviation safety?
We understand we must make greater efforts and adopt new measures to continue improving aviation safety. Implementing Safety Management Systems (SMS) at airports and airlines contributes to improving aviation safety by helping airports and airlines to detect and correct safety problems before latent elements result in aircraft accidents or incidents.
So what is aviation safety? How do we measure it? By reported events per 10,000 operations (take-offs and landing)? Reported issues are not always reliable metrics because IN MOST cases, reportable issues never make it to the decision makers. These "reportable" issues have no effective way to be put into a safety management system, categorized, analyzed and improved upon.
What is aviation safety in your organization? A weekly safety meeting that you have members sign a piece of paper that goes into a file? We have seen where even this seemingly assumed act is never carried out. To answer "what is aviation safety" is an answer that should have often unique answers depending upon your reference. Are you a regional airport, scheduled airline, or crop dusting operation?
Let us agree on the question of "What is aviation safety" by coming to a common understanding that aviation safety is composed of many interdependent elements, including:
Issue reporting (accidents, incidents, close calls, potential events);
Investigation of more serious issues;
Categorization of flight failures, reported issues, whether they are safety, security, quality, compliance or environmental;, and
Prevention of such failures or recurrences through regulation, education and training.
The implementation of formal safety management systems (SMS) help operators collect and analyze data. It helps them to consider "What is aviation safety" from their perspective.
From public perspective, answering "what is aviation safety" focuses on equipment and procedures that we EXPECT operators to be implementing. Answering "what is aviation safety" is commonly applied in the context of safety campaigns informing the public as to the safety of air travel.
Managing aviation safety properly requires good software tools and trained personnel. This site is dedicated to informing you as to what is aviation safety and pointing you to tools developed to improve aviation safety.
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Aviation Safety Software Blog - What is an Aviation Safety Management System