Qa & Aviation Safety

Topics: Air safety, Federal Aviation Administration, International Civil Aviation Organization Pages: 8 (1220 words) Published: September 2, 2012
Name: Pinto, Rafael A.
Date: 07/25/12
Activity 9.9 - Aeronautical Science Perspective Paper

Aviation Safety and Quality Assurance

Despite having an enviable safety record, the aviation industry is under constant pressure to drive down

accident rates. Air accidents damage consumer confidence and inhibit the growth of the industry.

When it comes to flying, the word safety is mentioned constantly. Shortage of qualified professionals,

ageing of aircraft’s fleet and environmental concerns are some of the challenges faced by today’s

aviation. The primary goal of the aviation industry is to maintain airplane and helicopter safety

standards and protect the interests of the mechanics, flight crew, and passengers. It is important the use

of different techniques for increase of safety practices in a industry that is increasingly diverse,

complex, and under very significant pressure. John O'Brian, from ALPA's Engineering and Air Safety

Department, once mentioned “No matter how interested individual employees might be, or what

assistance a manufacturer offers, or how insistent a certificating authority might be—none of these

factors will have a significant effect on safety without support from top management”, so it is

imperative that managers and supervisors are well aware of the impact of their roles during the daily


As aviation evolves, a lot of programs and procedures were created in order to organize, monitor and

standardize maintenance practices and flight operations. From a safety management system (SMS) to a

flight data management (FDM) just to name a few, all these programs have the objective of collecting

all the data and identify areas that need improvement and determine the most cost-effective way to

increase safety.

The aviation safety management system (SMS) has been proven to be the most significant event to

make aviation more profitable and safer to those who have adapted to their business. SMSs emphasize

safety management as a fundamental business process to be considered in the same manner as other

aspects of business management. It gives the management a great tool to proactively identify and

manage risks. That way operator identifies potential hazards and ensures that a process is put in place to

effectively manage them. It is recognized by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO),

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and civil aviation authorities (CAA) and

service providers as the next step in the evolution of safety in aviation. The system is divided in four

components: safety policy, safety risk management (SRM), safety assurance, and safety promotion. The

FAA has been encouraging general aviation operators to implement SMS in order to create a safer


Flight Safety Foundation offers the Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS). This service is tailored to

improve safety in remote and hazardous environments and it’s widely used all around the world. The

BARS program consist of four components very similar to the SMS: BAR standard, global data safety

analysis, audit program, aviation safety training programs. It is basically and auditing process used by

contracting companies to evaluate aviation operators to ensure regulatory compliance and the safety of


Another program used to improve aviation safety is the Aviation Safety Reporting program. This

program, established by the FAA, was designed to obtain information to evaluate and enhance the

safety and efficiency of the system. The FAA provides waivers of certain disciplinary actions to pilots,

controllers, flight attendants, maintenance personnel and other users who file a written report

concerning potentially unsafe incidents in a timely manner.

But in order to make any of these programs work you need a team of highly skilled individuals to...
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