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Support Consistent Implementation of SMS


Safety Management System 


IATA is an active participant of the ICAO Safety Management Panel and was involved in the drafting of the newest ICAO Annex, namely Annex 19, Safety Management, which became applicable on 14 November 2013.

A Safety Management System (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. As per ICAO requirements, service providers are responsible for establishing an SMS, which is accepted and overseen by their State.

Types of service providers

    • Approved training organizations that are exposed to safety risks during the provision of their services
    • Aircraft operators
    • Approved maintenance organizations
    • Organizations responsible for type design and/or manufacture of aircraft
    • Air traffic services providers 
    • Certified aerodromes

Under the requirements, the service provider must implement an SMS accepted by their State that, as a minimum

    • Identifies safety hazards
    • Ensures that remedial action necessary to maintain an acceptable level of safety is implemented
    • Provides for continuous monitoring and regular assessment of the safety level achieved
    • Aims to make continuous improvement to the overall level of safety

Alongside the ICAO requirements, SMS requirements have been incorporated into the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Industry has been implementing the Safety Management System (SMS) framework elements for a number of years. As demonstrated through IOSA audit results, there are varying degrees of implementation to date. Recognizing the need to progress the implementation of SMS by Industry, in April IATA introduced the IOSA SMS Strategy. This Strategy provides a timeline for the progressive elevation of all SMS designated SARPs to Standards by 2016.

SMS Tools

To support SMS implementation, IATA developed and launched the Regional SMS Network to facilitate the understanding and subsequent conformity with the IOSA SMS requirements and thereby the IOCA SMS framework. IATA will also develop a strategy to support closure of IOSA findings related to elevated SARPs, including additional guidance and/or training on areas identified.

IATA also offers SMS training courses for both airlines and regulators.

For further information concerning IATA's SMS initiatives, please contact us at safety@iata.org

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