Management Commitment and Responsibility in Aviation SMS

SMS #1 Element of Safety Policy & Objectives

Airlines and airports will define their safety policies in accordance following international and national regulatory requirements.

Aviation safety polices shall:

  • Reflect the airline or airport's commitment to safety;
  • Include clear statements about providing necessary financial and human resources for safety policy implementation;
  • Include safety reporting procedures including a non-punitive reporting statement;
  • Indicate which types of behaviors are unacceptable relating to the airline or airport's activities;
  • Include circumstances under which disciplinary action would not apply to reported issues;
  • Be signed by the accountable executive;
  • Be posted in a visible location accessible by all employees; and
  • Be periodically reviewed and changed when necessary to ensure the policy remains relevant.

This element is satisfied when the airline or airport has defined their safety policy which clearly states their intentions, safety objectives and philosophies. Furthermore, there must be visible evidence of safety leadership and management ‘walking the talk’ and demonstrating by example.

SMS Pro modules used to support this requirement

Best Practices

  • Personnel at all levels are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the safety management system;
  • There is only one aviation safety policy used throughout the airline or airport and it is implemented at all levels;
  • Safety policy is clearly visible, or available, to all personnel and is included in key documentation and communication media;
  • Safety policy objectives drive the operator's goals and mission statements;
  • Airline or airport regularly verifies that personnel throughout the organization are familiar with and have understood the policy and its message, such as in training or surveys;
  • Accountable Executive demonstrates their commitment by attending training and /or safety conferences;
  • Accountable Executive demonstrates their commitment by leading upper level safety meetings;
  • Senior management has adopted an integrated safety planning process with published and measurable safety targets and objectives.

Additional Educational Resources

Writing an Aviation Safety Policy for SMS Programs - 4 Free Templates

Writing a Non-Punitive Reporting Policy for Aviation SMS - Free Templates

Free Downloads

Aviation Safety Policy Checklists

Safety Policy Templates

Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Templates