SMS Element 3 of Safety Policy & Objectives
Appointing the right safety manager at an airline or airport is critical to the success of every SMS program. Larger airlines and airports may have dedicated safety teams directed by a "Director of Safety." Medium sized operators may have multiple divisions, with a full-time safety manager for each division. It is common for a safety manager to manage more than one division, for example, flight ops and administration.
Smaller airlines and airports will typically have a part-time safety manager. This safety manager will typically be functioning as departmental supervisor or manager, and the safety manager roles will be just another "additional duty." These safety managers have a difficult task shaping culture, as the safety manager responsibilities inadvertently compete with the other regular duties.
Airlines and airports will:
- Assign competent personnel with the appropriate knowledge, skills and
experience to manage the operation of
the SMS program;
- Ensure persons managing the operation of the SMS program fulfills required job functions and responsibilities;
- Provide a direct reporting line between the Safety Manager
and the Accountable Executive;
- Allocate sufficient resources to manage
the SMS program including manpower for safety investigations, analysis,
auditing and safety promotion activities; and
- Ensure personnel in key safety roles are kept current through
additional training and attendance at conferences and
This element is satisfied when the SMS program is facilitated by the accountable executive and there is an identified structure of key safety personnel from the various
operational areas. Department heads are actively and visibly involved in the SMS program.
SMS Pro modules used to support this requirement
- The airline or airport has established a structured safety
committee or equivalent, appropriate for the size and
complexity of the operation, including a full range of senior
- Safety Committee or its equivalent monitors operational safety
performance and SMS program effectiveness. Safety committees are commonly chaired by the Accountable Executive;
- Safety managers are given appropriate status within the organization
reflecting (in the org chart and in practice) the importance of the safety role within the
airline or airport;
- Safety committees include stakeholders and significant
contracted organizations; and
- Safety committees are focused on safety issues and all
attendees fully participate.
Additional Educational Resources/
What Makes a Good Aviation Safety Manager?
Most Common Aviation Risk Management Challenges at Airlines & Airports
Safety Manager Job Description
Aviation Safety Manager Checklists