SMS aviation programs can benefit more than just flight crews
Safety management systems (SMS) aviation programs are growing in popularity, not just because they are mandatory for Part 121 operators but also because they work. Look at how safe the airlines are these days. Safety experts credit this exceptional safety record with the implementation of SMS programs.
However, SMS programs are not cheap or easy to create. Years ago, I tried to make one for our EMS company and eventually had to admit I needed help, and we hired an aviation safety company to finish the job. The end product was amazing and well worth the money to have it professionally done.
Fortunately, many safety companies are creating scalable SMS programs to be used by aviation businesses of all sizes. Additionally, these companies increase their safety reach by including more tools for their clients to use daily. Aviation safety action programs (ASAP) and flight risk assessment tools (FRAT) are two products worth their weight in gold, especially in the EMS helicopter community where go/no go decisions must be made as efficiently as possible during all hours of the day and night.
SMS programs aren’t just for pilots anymore. Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently announced a new partnership with the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) to provide their SMS program for aircraft maintenance departments.
Combining all these safety programs into one giant toolbox will undoubtedly increase the safety culture within various aviation businesses. The popularity of SMS Aviation programs will cause safety to be top of mind for all of us, and we will hopefully continue to see stellar safety records for decades to come.