The aviation industry is an organization that contains too many moving parts to control. The industry has developed a stigma of blood priority, meaning that corrective action is not taken until the loss of life has occurred. “No human endeavor or human made system can be free from risk and error.” (FAA, 2007) Therefore the elimination of accidents is virtually impossible; the evolution of safety management is an ongoing effort of safeguarding the industry and remaining proactively in control of safety opportunities. Early aviation pioneers had little to no safety regulation, practical experience, or engineering knowledge to guide them. As the industry matured regulation, and improvements in technology served as the first phase of improving safety. They’ve proven to contribute significant gains to the industry. The next phase of improving safety consisted of human performance that would further improve the goal of safety, Cockpit Resource Management (CRM), and Maintenance Resource Management (MRM) where paramount to the control of the human factor. Each approach has led to significant gains in safety. However, preventative action against accidents will never cease to exist. So the question for the aviation community is, “what is the next step?” (FAA, 2010)
The answer is what FAA calls Safety Management Systems (SMS) which would integrate, “A businesslike approach to managing safety risk, it includes systematic procedures, practices, and policies for the management of safety (including safety policy, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion)” (FAA, 2007) SMS is currently in its infancy and is being developed, researched, analyzed, and potentially implemented as part of 14 CFR part 139. (FAA, 2010) “The FAA supports harmonization of international standards and has worked to make U.S. aviation safety regulations consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices.... [continues]
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