Research Projects

Structuring the Airport Safety Organization

Conduct research on options airports can consider when deciding on an organizational structure for their personnel who will manage airport safety processes. The research should provide recommended structures for airports of all sizes and complexities.

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

In an ideal safety environment, all employees and stakeholders are pulling in the same direction and committed to assuring positive safety outcomes at all times. A key objective of an airport safety management system (SMS) is to create and perpetuate such an environment. However an effective SMS requires a dedicated group of individual to manage safety processes, analyze airport safety data, and report on safety performance and trends to organizational decision makers. Depending on the size of the airport and the availability of personnel and resources, the safety organization can teak many forms. As more airports create an SMS and adopt the supporting processes, there are lessons learned regarding the size, composition, responsibilities and reporting requirements for the safety organization. Researched aimed at capturing such lessons, and offering recommendations to airports of various sizes toward the optimization of the safety organization will aid in the success and accelerate the maturity of an airport SMS.
This research could result the development of a guidebook for airports to assist in determining the structure, positions, responsibilities, and funding levels for an airport's safety. This research would augment the early ACRP research and reports on SMS, to include ACRP Report 1: Safety Management Systems for Airport, and ACRP Report 144: A Guidebook for Safety Risk Management at Airports.

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

A report with guidance on options airports can consider when deciding on an organizational structure for their personnel who will manage airport safety processes. The research should provide recommended structures for airports of all sizes and complexities.

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Idea No. 358