Research Projects

Integrating Airport SMS – The Airports Role in Safety Management in the Airside Environment

Develop a report that addresses approaches for airports to integrate SMS processes airside wide with the focus being on the role of the airport in coordinating the various safety management efforts ongoing with stakeholders.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

As airports develop safety management systems (SMS) and implement the associated processes in the airside environment, one challenge early adopting airports have faced is determining the role and the authorities the airport will undertake given that numerous airside stakeholders operate under their own SMS. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires commercial air carriers to establish and operate under an SMS, several large fixed base operators (FBO) have SMS in place, and numerous business aviation operators have adopted the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) safety guidelines. Not all of these practices are identical and many organizations limit the safety information gained through their SMS with outside entities. Research into the role of the airport when multiple SMS exist, and identifying effective practices in integrating or directing safety management efforts from the airport's perspective would benefit airside and enterprise wide safety.
This research should explore the common elements and differences of the various SMS operating at an airport, what types of information is captured and can be shared with others, and what barriers exist to enacting cooperative safety efforts. The airport occupies a unique position to act as the safety director, safety integrator, and/or safety referee for all participants in the airside system. Guiding the industry toward the most effective practices as learned from airports with SMS in place, and by devising recommended practices for airport to consider will aid in the enhancement of airport safety performance.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

A report that addresses approaches for airports to integrate SMS processes airside wide with the focus being on the role of the airport in coordinating the various safety management efforts ongoing with stakeholders.

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Idea No. 353