The evolution of SMS in aviation
SMS and ICAO adaptation of it have been evolving since the early 1990s. It came as a recognition that both human and organisational factors contribute to an accident, incident or significant event. The Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 and the subsequent Lord Cullen inquiry into it had a significant impact on the evolution of Integrated Safety and SMS.
ICAO utilised the work of Professors James Reason and Patrick Hudson (among others), that brought organisational failures and safety culture as foremost consideration in accident causation.
There are 191 member 'States' (Countries) that have signed up to the 1944 Chicago convention. ICAO have mandated a standardised manner in the management of safety. In Annex 19 and the associated guidance material, ICAO outlines the State Safety Program (SSP) which in turn defines Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS) and then the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) to achieve this. Not all States are at this time in a position to deliver both the oversight and safety management recommended. States can set their own timeline for SMS implementation and also file differences to the ICAO framework. (Australia, for example, has three extra elements in the CASA SMS framework from the ICAO model)
Of the 191 member States, only New Zealand, Canada and Australia have mandated the ICAO SARPs for SMS. Others such as European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have widely accepted SMS practices and expectations, but have not yet made it mandatory under legislation.
ICAO has also mandated that Human Factors needs to be integrated into SMS. This recognises that an understanding of the human error impact on a safety event ultimately contributes to the development of more comprehensive and effective mitigation/ corrective actions.
The Regulator SMS seeks to identify State Safety Program risks. For example, The CAA UK Significant seven;
- Loss of control
- Runway excursion
- Controlled flight into terrain
- Runway incursion
- Airborne conflict
- Ground-handling accidents
However ... it is a 'fragile' system ...
2017 Airline statistics: 4.1 billion pax, 399 deaths; 'The safety year on record'
Air Canada flight 759 - 07 July 2017 - 1091 people on 5 aircraft
ICAO policy and Guidance
ICAO - Annex 19 to the Chicago convention
Safety management provisions were gradually introduced into the following ICAO Annexes beginning in 2001:
- Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing;
- Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft,
- Annex 8 — Airworthiness of Aircraft;
- Annex 11 — Air Traffic Services;
- Annex 13 — Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation; and
- Annex 14 — Aerodromes
In response to High-level Safety Conference 2010 (HLSC/2010) Recommendation 2/5, the ICAO Council supported a two-phased approach for the creation of a new safety management Annex:
- the first phase to consolidate existing and overarching Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS), currently contained in as many as six different Annexes, into a single new Annex; and
- the second phase for the development of new safety management systems.
On 25 February 2013, the ICAO Council unanimously adopted the first edition of Annex 19 with an applicability date of 14 November 2013.
While Annex 19 contains extremely important material, it is high level and aimed at development of government legislation rather than practical application at a 'grass roots level'.
ICAO Safety Management Manual (SMM) Doc 9859
The SMM has developed since the first edition in 2006. The current 3rd Edition was produced in May 2013 to complement Annex 19, and now the 4th edition in 2018. It provides guidance material on safety management principles and concepts, State Safety Program and Safety Management System. It has a three year review and amendment cycle.
The SMM is made up of 9 chapters (as opposed to previously 5)
- Chapter 1 - Overview of the manual
- Chapter 2 - Safety Management fundamentals
- Chapter 3 - Safety Culture
- Chapter 4 - State Performance Management
- Chapter 5 - Safety data collection and processing systems
- Chapter 6 - Safety analysis
- Chapter 7 - Protection of safety data, safety information and related sources..
- Chapter 8 - State safety management
- Chapter 9 - Safety Management Systems
Much more emphasis on running of an SMS rather than regulatory guidance that was in 3rd Edition
IGovernment organisations that require to comply with the SSP are;
- Department of Infrastructure & Transport,
- Airservices Australia,
- Department of Defence
- Bureau of Meteorology and
Other ICAO guidance and training
ICAO also provide training on Annex 19 and SMS. (Click on the link to the left). This material refers to ICAO safety policy and Annex 19. There is also a Safety management training iKit
The SMM page (above) also provides access to a safety management toolkit, which includes SMM 3rd Edition as well as editable appendices of the SMM for tailoring and the use by individual organisations.
ICAO State Safety Program and SMS Framework
Component 1. Safety policy and objectives
Element 1.1 Management commitment and responsibility
Element 1.2 Safety accountabilities
Element 1.3 Appointment of key safety personnel
Element 1.4 Coordination of emergency response
Element 1.5 SMS documentation
Component 2. Safety risk management
Element 2.1 Hazard identification
Element 2.2 Safety risk assessment and mitigation
Component 3. Safety Assurance
Element 3.1 Safety performance monitoring and measurement
Element 3.2 The management of change
Element 3.3 Continuous improvement of the SMS
Component 4. Safety promotion
Element 4.1 Training and education
Element 4.2 Safety communication
ICAO and other resources
The ICAO website provides a wealth of information regarding SMS. This is the start point for all member states to base their SMS. Other member States with significant resources include Transport Canada, FAA, EASA and CAA NZ. Follow the links below to these resources