Alaska Seaplanes, an FAA part 135 commuter airline based in Juneau, Alaska, has rolled out a new SMS programme using the scalable Alaska Aviation Safety Exchange by Baldwin Safety and Compliance, a new SMS/QMS programme customised for the Alaska aviation community.
The Alaska Aviation Safety Exchange features easy-to-use software that enables customisation to forms, reports and manuals to meet the needs of operators in the region. It is mission adaptable and scalable to a single fixed wing or helicopter operator or to an operation with hundreds of aircraft. Alaskan operators subscribing to Baldwin will also have the option of sharing de-identified safety data to learn from their peers via data sharing within the Baldwin programme and/or the FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS). Another benefit Baldwin offers the small operator is 24/7 support from safety matter experts, acting as an on-demand safety team resource.
Alaska Seaplanes director of safety and compliance Ken McLure explains: “Alaska is a unique place to fly and operations here have many challenges that operators in the lower 48 will never experience. From seasonal staffing swings to water landings and limited controlled airspace, we have distinctive risks to consider. The big difference for Alaska Seaplanes was that the Baldwin system was customisable and flexible enough to adapt to our operation, and it did not require reworking our processes to integrate with the software. The assistance we received with our flight risk assessment tool was also a game changer. We rolled the programme out in a phased approach to all the stakeholders in November and went live in December. The most impressive result is that I am already receiving great feedback on the data we are collecting, and many members of the team are providing input and suggestions for small changes that have been very simple to make.
“The SMS programme mandate is coming in 2022, and I anticipate other operations (big and small) developing their SMS with Baldwin. I look forward to more Alaska operators joining us in this journey to improve safety and participate in the new safety database, made for Alaska.”
Donald Baldwin, president and founder of Baldwin Safety and Compliance, adds: “As leaders in safety and quality management, we wanted to provide a customised SMS/QMS solution that would support the specific Alaskan operational, regulatory, standards and emergency response environment. When we met with Ken at Alaska Seaplanes, he shed light on the challenges he was facing trying to develop an SMS system to work with its current operation without making major changes to adapt to a pre-fab programme. It faces extraordinary conditions on a regular basis, and we are proud to be working with the aviation community in Alaska to provide a simplified but customised solution to their SMS programme needs. We will soon be introducing similar programmes to the Hawaiian aviation industry.”