Institutionalisation, capability and effectiveness of aviation safety management systems

Nektarios Karanikas, Alfred Roelen, Alistair Vardy, Steffen Kaspers

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In the frame of an on-going 4-years research project, the Aviation Academy Safety Management Systems (AVAC-SMS) metric for the self-assessment of aviation Safety Management Systems (SMS) was designed based on the Safety Management Manual of the International Civil Aviation Organization and in cooperation with knowledge experts and aviation companies. The particular
metric evaluates three areas, namely (1) the degree of institutionalisation of SMS (design and implementation of processes), (2) the extent of managers’ capability to deliver the SMS processes, and (3) the employees’ perceived effectiveness of the SMS-related deliverables. The metric concludes with a score per area and per SMS component/element assessed, and it is scalable to the size and complexity of each organisation. Results of a survey at 18 aviation companies did not show statistically significant differences in their SMS scores across all three assessment areas but revealed a distance between the area of Institutionalization and the areas of Capability and Effectiveness. Also, differences were detected regarding the scores per SMS component and element within and across companies and assessment areas. The various assessment options offered for the AVAC-SMS metric accommodates the resources each SME and large company can invest in the application of the metric. Even the lowest level of resolution of the SMS metric can trigger companies to investigate further their weaker areas and foster their SMS-related activities. Therefore, the AVAC-SMS metric is deemed useful to organisations that want to self-assess their SMS and proceed to comparisons amongst various functions and levels and/or over time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th European STAMP Workshop & Conference
Subtitle of host publicationMATEC Web of Conferences
PublisherEDP Sciences
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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