Safety Management Systems Included in NBAA’s Safety List

CFIT Avoidance

Safety management systems are included in the NBAA’s safety strategies 2021/2022 list 

It’s that time of year again when pilots and operators start thinking about saving lives next year based on what the NBAA has observed this year. It doesn’t seem like the list should change that much from year to year – doesn’t new technology counter the risks of aging airplanes? Topics on the list like controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) and single pilot accidents sound like they may be pilot related, but on the other hand, Safety Management Systems might save the day.  

The updated list from the NBAA’s Safety Committee includes their Top Safety Focus Areas for 2021/2022. The committee hopes that the industry will look at the highlighted areas and work together to formulate a plan to reduce the risks in the future. The list consists of 3 main areas:  

  • Addressing preventable accidents  
  • Loss of control inflight  
  • Runway excursions  
  • Controlled flight into terrain  
  • Ground operations  
  • Maintenance Accidents  
  • Unique operations concerns  
  • Flight crew and maintenance operations proficiency  
  • Single Pilot accident rate  
  • Procedural noncompliance  
  • Fitness for duty  
  • Implementing mitigation strategies  
  • Safety Management Systems implementation  
  • Safety manager qualification and training  
  • Increased use and sharing of safety data  


Honestly, this list doesn’t look like anything new. Noncompliance and fitness for duty have been around since, well, forever. The most hopeful items on the list are the Safety Management System initiatives and implementation. This seems to be where aviation is heading in the future. Getting the industry to focus on safety systems and managers can only be a positive development for life saving improvements. In the meantime, we should all do our part to follow procedures and stay situationally aware of where we are and where we’re going. Let’s reduce that list next year and for years to come.   

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