Aviation Safety Management Systems - SMS


Aviation is an activity that faces numerous risks on a daily basis. ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization and the FAA agreed that Safety Management Systems (SMS) will be an effective method for  improving safety in the face of rapid growth and increasing technical complexity. SMS is a platform to identify what needs to be changed so that potential accidents can be avoided in the future.

The FAA defines Safety Management System (SMS) as “a quality management approach to controlling risk. It also provides the organizational framework to support a sound safety culture.” (ref. AC 190-92) Simply, it is a way for an organization to internally capture previously unreported incidents or safety concerns so they can be addressed in a proactive manner.

SMS methodology depends on the size and complexity of the company which may include the type of equipment being operated, the geographical areas of operation and personnel composition. An SMS should be specific to your organization. Training and promotion is essential for SMS. Employees, as well as company management, must buy into the program which means understanding concepts, the benefits, and implementation.

For companies that have already initiated a process improvement initiative, SMS should not be a major shift or cultural change.  ATC Vantage can assist your organization with the multifaceted SMS implementation. ATC Vantage offers everything you will need to implement a successful SMS. We believe in and practice a "hands-on" and "in-person" approach to the options we offer.  SMS options include:

Onsite & Offsite Training
SMS Training
Implementation Guide/Models
Facilitation of SMS Implementation
SMS Evaluations
SMS Audits
IS-BAO Audits

ATC Vantage offers training in SMS principals, hazard identification, risk analysis and the development of a Safety Management Manual. As a MITRE Aviation Institute licensed training organization ATCV is qualified to provide SMS manuals, SMS implementation assistance, and training support for air carrier operators, corporate flight departments, airport, air traffic control providers, maintenance repair organizations, and aviation authorities. ATCV has the expertise to help you develop a customized SMS manual that fits the size and complexity of your organization. ATCV offers various levels of SMS assistance based upon your organization’s needs.

ATC Vantage has been trained and licensed to teach SMS by MITRE CAASD Center for Advanced Aviation System Development)Our comprehensive SMS training program was developed by the MITRE CAASD in collaboration with the FAA. MITRE was founded as a non-profit corporation to provide engineering and technical services to the federal government. The course is based upon ICAO publications and FAA Advisory Circular SMS Standards. Over thirty-two countries have chosen the MITRE SMS course.


Why implement SMS now?

  • Immediate ICAO compliance (required January 1, 2009)
  • FAA SMS requirement for Part 121 operators
  • Improved safety of operation

  • Improved employee input, working conditions and morale

  • Business bottom-line savings

  • Potential insurance rate reductions

  • Insurance does not cover all the risks/costs

  • Economic viability requires public confidence

  • Few organizations can survive the economic consequences of a major accident

  • The safest organizations are often the most efficient

  • Need to recognize the hidden costs of accidents:
          Indirect Costs: Insurance deductibles, loss of business, loss of use of equipment,
         loss of staff, investigation, cleanup, legal claims and fines
          Direct Costs: Repairing physical damage to equipment, property & people

  • A systematic approach will reduce losses

  • Less work “do-over’s”

  • Saving lives

  • Safety is good for business

  • Business survival

      Where is the FAA in the SMS implementation?

FAA SMS Framework, Implementation Guide and Assurance Guide
AC 120-92 - Introduction to SMS for Air Operators
AC 145-XXX (DRAFT) - Introduction to SMS for Maintenance Organizations
AC 150/5200-37 - Introduction to SMS for Airport Operators
ICAO Manual (Doc. 9859), and Annexes 6,11 & 14
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to the amount of effort
justified to prevent the
recurrence of one accident"



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