Safety Management System (SMS) is becoming a standard throughout the aviation industry worldwide. It is recognized by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and product/service providers as the next step in the evolution of safety in aviation.
It is increasingly being recognized by both the airline industries and regulatory bodies that there is a need for a formally structured Safety Management System within each airline that ensures that appropriate safety practices are integrated into the airline operations.
An important part of a safety management system is having the right culture within the organization. A culture whereby learning from incidents is the key- honest acknowledgement of mistakes is seen as a chance to learn, and as an opportunity to increase the safety or aviation activities. When researching incidents, it is therefore the identification of the cause of the incident which is the focal point and not the individual. This allows doing something about the particular cause and preventing the same incident from happening again. The issue of guilt is therefore not relevant, unless there has been negligent and reckless behavior.
Continuing efforts to improve the already remarkable safety record of the airline industry will require a comprehensive and careful structured approach to the management of all aspects of airline safety, and particularly safety aspects of flight operations. That is, an approach having:
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