Ensuring Operational Safety
Apr 09, 2014 | Categories: Aviation Safety
Travel by private jet is the ultimate in efficiency and comfort when you need to be away from home. Statistically, it is safer than driving a car. Like any travel, though, aviation is not without some risk. Although FAA regs work to mitigate some risk, the truth is, there’s a lot of “playing field” between what is legally compliant, and what is actually safe. In almost every aircraft accident, there’s some component of human error that becomes a link in the chain of events that led to the accident. That’s why Moser Aviation takes a very proactive approach to ensuring that our operations are as safe as they can be. The primary method we use to do that is through our Safety Management System or SMS.
Essentially, the implementation and use of an SMS is the result of recognizing that safety doesn’t just happen, it must be proactively managed. Our SMS has three primary components. First, we start by creating and nurturing a culture of safety within our organization. Second, we actively look at all our operations through the lens of an operational risk management program. Finally, we work to continually improve our SMS and actively identify and mitigate the systemic risks in our operations.
Creating a Culture of Safety
The implementation of our SMS starts at day one when a person comes to work with us. During initial training they are educated on the SMS, so that they can understand and implement their responsibilities within that system. They are trained on the use of our operational risk management matrix, and they are given the explicit guidance that they are a critical component of the SMS. When we discuss our corporate core values, we always start with the very first one, aviation safety. The most important part of their training is helping them to understand that they are empowered to stop any operation that they feel takes on too much risk. We feel very strongly that it takes an “all hands” approach to gain the synergies and the benefits of a diverse group of individuals all viewing an operation through their own lens to give us the best chance of identifying and mitigating the risks we encounter every day.
Identifying the risks
Within that culture of safety, when we conduct operations, we actively seek to identify and mitigate the risks that we experience. Not all flights are equal. Environmental factors, personnel factors, and aircraft factors can make what would normally be a very benign flight a more risky operation. We understand that, and implement an operational risk matrix to help us identify, evaluate and then mitigate those risks. When things like bad weather come up, we take a look at what the actual risks associated with them are, and then take steps to mitigate those risks, Mitigating the risk might mean carrying enough fuel to get to an alternate airport, or it might go so far as cancelling the flight. As painful as it is to cancel a flight, it sure beats being involved in an aircraft accident.
Finally, we utilize a continuous improvement approach to identifying systemic risks. We have formal feedback vehicles for our staff to give immediate feedback when they identify a risk. They simply advise their supervisor, and file a form that documents the risk so that we can take steps to evaluate and mitigate it before it hurts someone. Once every quarter we have a company-wide safety meeting. We take a look at aircraft accidents that have happened industry wide to make sure we capture other people’s lessons learned and we take time to discuss as a group where we think we’re taking too much risk and what we can do to reduce the likelihood of those risks causing an incident.
As the famous A.G.Lamplugh quote states, “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” That’s why Moser Aviation works so hard to make sure your flight is as safe as it can be, every time. It’s not enough to rely on the FAA regulations and the design of the airplane. It is the human component that makes or breaks the safety of an operation, SMS appreciates and applies that knowledge. That’s why you have our solemn promise to always take the steps above and beyond what is required to ensure your safety.