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OCR for page 31
Airport Safety Management Systems 31 Have you ever had a sudden increase in accidents and not known why they happened or when they will end? Have you ever set down an SOP for the airport that was soon forgotten or ignored? Are you happy with your safety performance, but finding the safety performance of your tenants and contractors lets you down, or even puts your airport activities at risk? Are there people in your airport who do not know their responsibilities with regard to safety? When a key safety person in your airport is away, is his/her substitute ever unsure what to do? Have you ever had an emergency that was not well managed? Do airport workers only comply with safety rules when compelled? Is safety management disorganized and confusing in your airport? If you responded yes to any of these questions, an SMS can help you reduce or eliminate these problems. It is not something miraculous--simply good business practice. Here are some gen- eral reasons for having an SMS: SMS is not new. Other major industries have implemented SMS for decades, and to revert to the "old days without SMS" is simply unthinkable for them. They have already gained so much. From a purely business point of view, there's no reason to wait to improve effectiveness and reduce safety risks. Implementing an SMS has a cost, but the cost is definitely less than smash- ing an aircraft with a tug. SMS will be an ICAO standard beginning November 2010, and the FAA(1),(13),(14) is gradually moving to require it, too. SMS should be on your agenda because a well-planned, carefully monitored, evenly distributed effort is preferable to a last-minute rush. SMS is not an experimental project. The guidelines and the experience to develop an effective airport SMS are available to you. An SMS helps minimize injuries and property losses, as well as keep your airport's costs down. 2.8 What Will I Get Out of It? It is impossible to deny there are some expenses (and some risks) in implementing an SMS; however, these are more than offset by the good that comes from an SMS. There are many claims made about the benefits of SMS: Reduced likelihood of accidents Reduced costs relating to accidents and incidents Assurance that a systematic process to monitor and address safety issues in a transparent and informed way is in place The potential for reduced insurance and liability costs Competitive advantage and possibility of more business opportunities Improved regulatory compliance

OCR for page 31
32 Safety Management Systems for Airports Improved employee morale and performance Identification of the best use of limited resources available Reduced reliance on a few key personnel Improved control Consistency Improved productivity These claims and more can make quite an impressive list for the benefits of an SMS. Are they achievable? Yes Are they guaranteed? No Significant benefits certainly are achievable, but they will require some effort and discipline. Even a fully implemented SMS does not guarantee an accident-free airport; no management system can hope for that level of effectiveness. To be realistic, an SMS is simply an integrated col- lection of effective management actions that can lead to a safer airport and aviation system.