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Airport Safety Management Systems 29 conditions. It is the link between the airport management and the world of safety data available to support their decisions. If you can classify the risks that you have identified, you will be able to determine which ones should be treated first. Moreover, you will find when and how to take the actions to mitigate these risks. The main objectives for an effective SMS effort include ensuring the following: Management is always aware of the risks associated with the airport activities and formally documents this awareness Personnel identify, assess, track, and monitor hazards associated with the airport activities and either eliminate or control the associated risks to an acceptable level throughout the life cycle Personnel identify and archive actions taken to eliminate or reduce risk for the purpose of tracking and learning safety lessons Personnel consider and use historical hazard data, including lessons learned from other orga- nizations, particularly airports Personnel quantify and minimize risks resulting from human error in operating, maintain- ing, and supporting airport activities Personnel evaluate and minimize risks resulting from hazardous conditions Airport management keeps airport stakeholders abreast of the safety considerations and includes them in the safety decision process 2.5 Origins of SMS The SMS concept grew out of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, also known as the Dem- ing cycle of continuous improvement. The concept depicted in Figure 2 was originally employed in quality management and forms the basis of the current international quality standard ISO 9001. When properly implemented, a safety management system provides the airport personnel with a systematic way to continuously monitor and improve processes and behaviors that affect both safety and operational effectiveness at the airport. It is constantly working and requires the engagement of all airport employees. Here are some examples of typical airport SMS actions that fit into the PDCA process. Figure 2. The PDCA Plan. Your SMS helps you to plan activities. These plans then guide systematic methods of cycle. performing activities. Plans might include documented policies, objectives, SOPs, self-inspections, schedules, employee training programs, checklists, and so forth. Do. The people in your airport should then perform tasks in accordance with those plans. After all, the plans represent what you believe to be the best way to carry out the tasks in a safe manner. This does not always happen automatically; it is likely that increased leadership com- mitment and training will be required to ensure acceptance of the system and adherence to planned methods. Check. There is a need to check whether everything is going according to the plans, and there are numerous mechanisms to do that. On a day-to-day basis, everyone in the airport should be given the opportunity to report hazards, accidents, and near misses, and to suggest improve- ments. When implemented correctly, this can be a very useful aspect of an SMS. On a more formal basis, the system should be checked regularly to ensure that your practice matches your expectations or plans. These regular checks are done by monitoring safety per- formance results, internal audits, and regular management reviews. These words may sound ominous to some, but they can be very straightforward and positive activities. In some instances, they may be supplemented by external audits from the FAA.