Aviation Safety, as a profession, has a lot of conservative (in the apolitical meaning of the word) tendencies. Having successfully landed many, many times, pilots are reluctant, for example, to try a new technique, even if it is clear that the new procedure is better.
Safety Management System (SMS), as an innovative discipline, suffers some from the same preference for the proven practices of the past. In addition, it is oft said that SMS requires a lot of effort. While an all-inclusive, 360° examination of unknown unknowns does impose a greater commitment, but both the literature and the initial experiences suggest that the benefits are tremendous.
In that context ICAO is to be commended for creating a new, robust website which, we are led to believe, is and will become a forum to disseminate lessons learned, share progress being made by individual states, encourage rapid compliance with the new Annex, provide helpful implementation guidance and advice, and share answers to questions asked by state regulators. Such a resource will help both sophisticated and less complex regulatory regimes to learn from others and to build on those experiences.
With a site where practical experiences are recorded, the skeptical organizations will be able to see the good and try SMS. The bad that has been encountered will draw a roadmap of what went wrong. The positive implementations will attract some to try, the less successful efforts will show how to avoid pitfalls and the additional efforts will add to the overall reservoir of knowledge.
Great initiative ICAO, showing leadership which other organizations should learn from and hopefully follow. Knowledge is a good thing!Share this article: