SMS Element 2 of Safety Policy & Objectives

Safety Accountabilities

Airline and airport safety is dependent on the relevant managers in the organization. Safety managers assist these managers with safe operations.

Safety managers as well as all the other managers and supervisors are expected to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the operator's SMS program.

Airlines and airports will:

  • Identify the accountable executive who has ultimate responsibility and accountability for the implementation and maintenance of the SMS program;
  • Define lines of safety accountability throughout the organization, including a direct accountability for safety on the part of senior management;
  • identify accountabilities of all members of management, as well as of employees, with respect to the safety performance of the SMS program;
  • Document and communicate safety responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities throughout the airline or airport; and
  • Define levels of management with authority to make decisions regarding safety risk tolerability.

This element is satisfied when there are clear lines of safety accountabilities throughout the airline or airport, including an accountable manager with ultimate accountability for the SMS program. Also, the Accountable Executive and management team must fully understand the risks faced by their airline or airport.


SMS Pro modules used to support this requirement


Best Practices

  • There is evidence of personnel involvement and consultation in the establishment and operation of the SMS program;
  • There is evidence that safety management system principles have penetrated all levels of the airline or airport and safety is part of the everyday culture;
  • Safety accountabilities throughout the airline or airport are clearly documented and individuals sign for their accountabilities;
  • Key safety activities are clearly described in senior management duties and responsibilities and are incorporated into personnel performance targets;
  • There is evidence that senior management recognizes the significance of contributions from all levels of the airline or airport and there is a clear mechanism for acknowledging those contributions.

Additional Educational Resources

How to Create an Org Chart for Aviation Safety Programs

Best Practices for Safety Accountabilities in Aviation SMS Programs


Free Downloads

Aviation Safety Policy Checklists

Safety Policy Templates

Free Safety Accountabilities Templates