Air safety management systems

This video discusses air safety management systems, which is one of the nine safety issues identified by the Transportation Safety Board as posing the greatest risk to Canadians. To find out more about these safety issues, see the Watchlist 2012.

Transcript of the video

Air safety management systems

Advancing safety is at the core of what we do at the Transportation Safety Board. Our Watchlist-updated in June 2012-is the result of hundreds of investigations and countless hours of accident analysis. As a result, it identifies the issues that pose the greatest risk to Canadians and our transportation system. Adopting air safety management systems is one of these key issues.

A safety management system is an organization-wide framework for the management of risk where the organization would be required to actively search for hazards, assess risks and find ways and means of mitigating those risks. The large air carriers in Canada have been required to have an SMS in place now since 2005. The smaller ones from the air commuter world and air taxi operators have not been required to have one in place. And interestingly is that 91% of all air accidents and 93% of all fatalities can be attributed to the commuters and air taxi operators.

Small operators typically face some interesting challenges. They're flying into more remote areas that may have little or no infrastructure. They often use aircraft that are a little older, that may not have sophisticated navigational or warning systems. The crews will likely be on the lower end of the experience scale. That and coupled with the idea that following the rules alone will not get you a better safety rate or lower the accident rate. To be effective, SMS requires leadership, commitment, a sense of ownership throughout the organization and at a practical level, simple, workable tools.

SMS is a tool that can help small operators find trouble before trouble finds them. Transport Canada is reviewing making SMS mandatory for small operators, but the TSB hopes they'll get a head start and begin integrating SMS into their day-to-day operations.

SMS was added to the TSB's Watchlist because we believe an effective safety management system can help reduce accidents and save live.