"The state in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level"
(Source: ICAO Annex 19).
The ICAO Annex 19 SMS Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) have been ‘incorporated’ into each EASA aviation domain, the latest being the Initial Airworthiness (Part 21) domain, i.e. ‘Design and Production’, as well as the Continuing Airworthiness (Part-145) domain, i.e. ‘Maintenance’,
with the following implementation targets:
PART 21 - IMPLEMENTATION after 7 March 2025 all design organisation approval (DOA) and production organisation approval (POA) holders approved in accordance with EASA Part 21, as well as manufacturers having a European technical standard order authorisation (ETSOA) and organisations designing auxiliary power units (APUs) in accordance with EASA Part 21, must have implemented an SMS
PART 145 - IMPLEMENTATION after 2 December 2024 all EASA Part-145 approved maintenance organisations must have implemented an SMS
UE Safety Risk Management Model - SOURCE EASA
ANNEX 19 SMS Model - SOURCE STEIA
Safety management seeks to proactively identify hazards and to mitigate the related safety risks before they result in aviation accidents and incidents.
Safety management enables an organisation to manage its activities in a more systematic and focused manner. When an organisation has a clear understanding of its role and contribution to aviation safety, it can prioritise safety risks and more effectively manage its resources and obtain optimal results.
The EU requirements for a safety management system (SMS) are embedded into the management system (MS) framework.
Such framework addresses the core elements of the ICAO SMS as defined in Appendix 2 to ICAO Annex 19, while promoting an integrated approach to the management of an organisation. Further, it facilitates the introduction of the additional safety management components, building upon the existing MS, rather than adding those components as a separate framework.
This approach encourages organisations to embed safety management and risk-based decision-making into all their activities, instead of superimposing another system onto their existing MS and governance structure. In addition, if the organisation holds multiple organisation certificates within the scope of the EASA Basic Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/1139), it may choose to implement a single MS to cover all of its activities.
An integrated MS may not only be used to capture multiple certification requirements, but also to cover other business MSs, such as security, occupational health, and environmental management systems. Integration will limit duplication and exploit synergies by managing safety risks across multiple activities.
Organisations may determine the best means to structure their MSs to suit their business and organisational needs.
The core part of the EU MS framework focuses on what is essential for safety management by mandating the organisation to:
clearly define accountabilities and responsibilities;
establish a safety policy and the related safety objectives;
implement an occurrence reporting system that meets the requirements defined in Regulation (EU) No 376/2014;
implement internal safety reporting procedures in line with ‘just culture’ principles;
ensure the identification of aviation safety hazards posed by its activities, ensure their evaluation, and the management of associated risks, including:
taking action to mitigate the risks, and
verifying the effectiveness of each action taken to mitigate the risks;
monitor compliance, while considering any additional requirements that are applicable to the organisation;
keep its personnel trained, competent, and informed about significant safety issues; and
document all the MS key processes.
SMS Implementation Plan - SOURCE ICAO
For most organizations, SMS implementation will take time.
It can take several years to reach the “Effective” maturity level, and even longer (if ever) to reach the “Excellence” level.
Figure below shows the
different levels of SMS maturity and
how an SMS may continuously improve in capability & performance over time.
Each organization can always strive toward excellence as part of their SMS continuous improvement. This method can support the assessment of best practices toward excellence keeping in mind that the ultimate goal of SMS is to proactively enhance safety beyond the minimum required for compliance with airworthiness rules.
Each organization can always strive towards “Excellence” as part of their SMS continuous improvement. This method can support the assessment of best practices towards excellence, keeping in mind that the ultimate goal of SMS is to proactively enhance Safety beyond the minimum required for compliance with airworthiness rules.
SMS Implementation Plan - SOURCE ICAO