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The role of faa in the safety and management of the arline industry

Safety in Airlines - Road to Safer Skies Overview An SMS-based Risk Control Process is a way of systematically identifying the risks and then deciding whether to accept, reduce, or eliminate them as well as looking at the results of the decisions to ensure the intended results. While the SMS framework in based on the widely-adopted ISO standards for quality management, airlines are struggling to implement the framework successfully.

Download an Insight Airline safety is fast becoming increasingly complex and controversial. In recent times, discovering that critical safety checks had not been conducted on schedule, federal inspectors blew the whistle on Southwest Airlines, levying millions of US Dollars in fine from the airline company.

Safety in Airlines - Road to Safer Skies

In yet another instance, another major airlines in United States temporarily grounded dozens of Boeing 777s to test their cargo fire-suppression systems after a review of maintenance records showed a test on part of the system hadn't been performed.

Such incidents have raised safety concerns amongst the airlines, the government and air travelers alike and there is a widespread awareness that safety inspections are serious business- they cannot be allowed to become haphazard.

For the aviation industry, being safe is the right thing to do, and it is the law, too. The compliance mandates released by the FAA impacts all business functions of the aviation industry - operationally and strategically.

Mandates such as Continuous Analysis and Surveillance require airlines to have a method of measuring effectiveness and performance of maintenance and inspection, and Internal Evaluation Programs for continual monitoring of internal processes, programs and procedures.

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For over 10 years, our work has focused on actions needed to maintain the integrity and safety of our aviation system. However, a number of high-profile events, including fundamental breakdowns in FAA oversight at Southwest Airlines, have raised legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of FAA's overall approach to safety oversight and what changes are needed. The 2006 Advisory Circular titles Introduction to Safety Management Systems for Air Operators introduced the concept of a Safety Management System SMS to aviation service providers calling for a systems approach to creating an effective Risk Control process to enable organizations to systematically process safety information, both proactively and reactively, in order to develop safety plans, programs, and specific actions that get results in terms of reducing risk.

In other words, an SMS-based Risk Control process is a way of systematically identifying the risks and then deciding whether to accept, reduce, or eliminate them as well as looking at the results of the decisions to ensure the intended results.

Key challenges facing the aviation service providers include:: Ballough, Director, Flight Standards Service for FAA holds that the surest way to improve aviation safety is through awareness, education, and training. An overview of accidents from early days of jet aviation tell a compelling story of why aviation industry must remain vigilant of the importance of good training in accident prevention, whether it be training for pilots, mechanics, or flight attendants.

The role of faa in the safety and management of the arline industry training in aviation industry has always been a challenge, particularly in the wake of ever changing technology and regulatory requirements. Most aviation companies today are struggling to streamline training procedures and monitor the effectiveness of training, essential to reduce the risk of noncompliance.

Moreover, regulatory pressures have created the need for specialized training for aviation employees, so that they can learn and apply the best practices to streamline safety processes and meet the regulatory mandates. Tasks like monitoring overall skill pool availability across organizational levels, defining employees in the system by job codes, roles and responsibilities, maintaining their training requirements and history, measuring gaps in employees' training record and their training plan and tracking completeness of employee training plans and career goals seem formidable to many.

The main question baffling most airlines is: Airline maintenance organizations face many challenges in ensuring that their aircraft are kept safe to fly at an affordable cost. Managing and maintaining aviation assets involves a complex set of interconnected activities - requiring effective equipment facilities management for constant uptime and controlled maintenance costs.

Federal Aviation Administration

Through the years, airline companies developed elaborate paper-based systems to manage the abundance of mandated safety procedures to ensure that maintenance was performed according to set standards and schedules. In recent years, airline companies looking to improve their profit margins began seeking cost-cutting measures, such as the elimination of inefficient paper-based or legacy-system based maintenance practices. Further, issues like battling risk of non-compliance, gaining real-time visibility into equipment inventory, containing maintenance and repair costs, checking nonconformance and deviations by linking equipment with corrective and preventive actions for a closed-loop quality and safety process and controlling maintenance related departure delays are but a few of the daily headaches of the aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul MRO executive.

Safety Audits and Assessments: Two weeks after levying a record fine against Southwest Airlines for safety lapses, the FAA ordered its inspectors to audit the safety programs of all U.

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Audits such as this, along with the countless others being performed by the airlines, help create the redundancies that make our aviation system the safest in the world. There are, however, large number of audits to be carried out, each of which is detail oriented and requires enormous amount of data collection. Most airline auditors are grappling to successfully carry out numerous audits and need a sophisticated system in place for functions like planning, scheduling and conducting audits, allowing audit findings to be reviewed and analyzed by a team, enabling initiation of follow-up activities such as corrective and preventive actions when needed, and providing the ability to monitor the entire process.

Hazard Identification and Risk Management: Several airline companies, today, are realizing the virtues of gaining visibility and control on the multitude of internal and external risks; and hence, looking to systemically identify, measure, prioritize and tackle all types of risk and then manage any exposure based on organization's strategy and priorities.

These companies are already pursuing fairly robust approach and a structured management system, which identifies operational safety hazards, determines potential risks associated with those hazards, assesses the impact of those risks and, if warranted, develops and implements a mitigating action plan to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

This also includes implementing an integrated and flexible framework for documenting and assessing risks, defining controls, managing assessments and audits, identifying issues, leveraging automated tools risk calculators and risk heat maps, and implementing recommendations and remediation plans.

  • As you know, the Air Traffic Organization ATO is a performance-based organization and has the responsibility for internal safety monitoring and compliance with safety standards;
  • BASIS also attempts to describe the human factors aspects of airline operations using fault-tree-like approaches.

Data and Records Management: An ideal safety management program emphasizes formal documentation, in form of appropriate manuals, directives and instructions, of all activities related to safety.

Companies following manual and paper-based processes for managing safety policies and control documents are fast realizing that such approach is inefficient, costly, and unsustainable. MetricStream is providing an integrated solution for managing the complete audit process including risk assessment, audit planning and scheduling, development of standard audit plans and checklists, field data collection, development of audit reports and recommendations, review of audit recommendations and corrective or preventive actions CAPAs.

The safety of the aviation industry is critical both in terms of accident and incident prevention, and the financial performance of the industry. The solutions serve as enablers of new levels of productivity, regulatory compliance, reduced costs and effective quality, safety and risk management. These solutions automate the entire inspection and conformance lifecycle from initial receipt of ADs, recording of inspections, instant launching of corrective actions and preventive actions CAPAsreal time reporting to FAA and audit management.

Given the volume of safety directives issued annually by the FAA and the need for immediate response, documentation and reporting MetricStream's customers are realizing significant efficiency gains and ROI from using its solutions.

Conclusion Airlines face numerous compliance challenges, including complying with regulations and initiatives set forth by the FAA, IOSA and similar regulatory bodies.

In addition to demonstrating safety compliance, airline firms must also exemplify their conformity to safety standards. Most airlines rely on safety audits which allow aviation professionals to focus on a safety concern, pinpoint the location of a failure, and take immediate steps to correct the problem.

MetricStream moves beyond basic compliance to ensure safety and quality in the operations across the entire value chain.

  • The committee believes that evaluating the effectiveness of ADs and other required actions would be greatly facilitated if industry, with FAA oversight, placed a higher priority on monitoring the effectiveness of corrective action;
  • In the 1990s, satellite technology received increased emphasis in the FAA's development programs as a means to improvements in communications, navigation, and airspace management.

MetricStream offers an integrated solution for successfully meeting the increasing regulatory and reporting requirements from the FAA while lowering the associated costs that can otherwise be substantial.