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Security Management System (SeMS)

Security Management System allows airlines to take an integrated, methodical and responsive approach to their overall security. SeMS is logically based on the proven principles of Safety Management System (SMS).  Correlations between SeMS and SMS illustrate a recognized link between safety and security priorities in the aviation industry.

Building a security culture

SeMS reinforces and integrates the security culture. It focuses on the role of human factor. A security culture should be promoted through a 'lead by example' approach and formulated through the company’s Security Policy to get the buy-in of the frontline staff into the importance of security. In this context the information exchange using the security reporting is indispensable. To facilitate collection of data in a structured manner, IATA promotes the security occurrences’ taxonomy (pdf) and the template of the security report form.

SeMS defined

SeMS encompasses the following key elements (IOSA SEC 1.1.1) enabling effective management of security:

  • Senior management and corporate commitment
  • Resources Management
  • Threat assessment and risk management
  • Management of emergencies and incidence
  • Quality control and quality assurance  

Through SeMS, risks can be identified, prioritized and systematically mitigated using well-informed decisions.

Embedding security into the business

IATA has demonstrated the value of the Security Management System (SeMS) through its IOSA Program. SeMS implementation contributed to the capability of airlines to embed security into the day-to-day business routine and manage security in an ever-changing security system. IATA is well-positioned to share its experience on SeMS with its member airlines and the aviation community. The aim is to support and promote implementation of SeMS principles within the entire aviation industry. To enable this objective, IATA has released the first edition of the SeMS Manual in 2017. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Through this manual, IATA expresses the belief that the SeMS approach is a natural path of evolution in thinking of security and as such should be adopted and integrated by other stakeholders to achieve further improvement of the aviation security generally. IATA, therefore encourages all actors to recognize the value-added of implementing SeMS in a manner tailored to individual needs.

Latest edition of SeMS Manual

Learn more about the latest IATA release of the Security Management System Manual.


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