European Business Aviation Association
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European operators can benefit from a number of regional initiatives that will bring them up to speed with ICAO safety requirements. One of these concerns the introduction of Safety Management Systems, a widely endorsed concept to enhance aviation safety that is being progressively introduced into national regulations in response to global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
SMS represent a systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for managing risks to safety. A successfully developed and implemented SMS will ensure that safety is a core value in an operation and is integrated into all management systems including operational, maintenance, and financial and human resource management.
EBAA's hosting of an SMS seminar on 12 March in Cologne, Germany, is just one of its initiatives designed to help operators meet the ICAO requirements. While this seminar is aimed primarily at German operators who are required by their national authority to implement an SMS this year, it is an excellent opportunity for any commercial operator in Europe to receive basic information about SMS, including an overview of the regulations and implementation phases. Operators will also be introduced to the SMS Toolkit, which has been created by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in conjunction with its member associations, including the EBAA, to make the introduction of an SMS as easy as possible without undermining its key benefits. Indeed, SMS has been a longstanding feature of business aviation industry best practice. The business aviation community has always been proactive in its efforts to minimise accidents and incidents.
In 2002 IBAC and member associations introduced the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), which is a code of best practices designed to help corporate flight departments achieve a high level of safety and professionalism. In continuation today, IBAC and its Member Associations are now assisting commercial flight departments by providing the SMS Toolkit, a compilation of guidance materials that will be a huge help to them in meeting developing regulatory requirements.
The SMS Information Seminar in Cologne will provide an overview of SMS to managers and senior staff of European air operators, plus an overview of the ICAO SMS requirements and the proposed EASA requirements. It will also provide participants with information that will assist them in developing strategies for SMS implementation in their own organisations.
However, it will not provide them with detailed information needed to develop and implement an SMS, nor will it teach them how to use the tools in the SMS Toolkit. That need will be met by follow-on SMS Toolkit Workshops, which will address in detail the SMS development and implementation process. These workshops will be of interest to business aviation management personnel and safety officers who will be involved in using the IBAC SMS Toolkit to develop and implement an SMS. The decision as to where the first SMS Toolkit Workshop will take place will be taken after the 12 March seminar. Participants in toolkit workshops will be expected to bring their own copy of the SMS Toolkit.
In addition to the seminar in Germany and other planned regional initiatives led by the EBAA, European operators can also learn more through the SMS eLearning Course co-developed by IBAC and FlightSafety International. More details on this can be found at www.ibac.org.