Developing a Hazard Identification Process within an EASA Part CAMO Organisation

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SofemaOnline (SOL) considers the process whereby “Hazards” can be identified within the Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (Part CAMO).


Our goal is to be in a position to capture all hazards in such a way that they can be analyzed and assessed, this is one of if not the most challenging part of the organization process.  

There is a common tendency to confuse hazards with their consequences or outcomes however whilst hazards are an inevitable part of aviation activities, their manifestation, and possible consequences can be addressed through various mitigation strategies to contain the hazard‘s potential from resulting in unsafe aircraft or aviation equipment operations.

Note 1 - A consequence is an outcome that could be triggered by a hazard. For example, a missed Airworthiness Directive (AD) is a projected consequence in relation to the hazard of ineffective maintenance planning management.

By first defining the hazard clearly, one can then project the proper consequence or outcome.

Note 2 - It may be noted that the consequences of a particular Hazard can be multi-layered, including such as an intermediate unsafe event, before an ultimate consequence (accident).

Whilst the ultimate consequence could be an accident, the damaging potential of a hazard in fact materializes through one or many consequences.

How to Describe Consequences

It is therefore important for safety assessments to include a comprehensive account of all likely consequences described accurately and in practical terms.

The most extreme consequence, related to an accident, should be differentiated from those that involve the potential for lesser consequences which would be described as an incident or reduction in safety margins.

The description of consequences according to their plausible outcomes will facilitate the development and implementation of effective mitigation strategies through proper prioritization and allocation of limited resources.

Hazard Identification

Proper hazard identification leads to an appropriate evaluation of their potential outcomes.

Hazards should be differentiated from error, a normal and unavoidable component of human performance, which must be managed.

Hazards exist at all levels in the organization and should be detectable through the use of reporting systems, inspections, or audits.

Mishaps may occur when hazards interact with certain triggering factors. As a result, hazards should be identified before they lead to accidents, incidents, or other safety-related occurrences.

Introduction to Hazard Identification within the CAMO Environment.

Essentially there are three methodologies for identifying hazards as follows.

1. Reactive Hazard Identification

We can through analysis of past outcomes or events identify the various Hazards that came into play - looking backward is usually easier but do not be misled that in this way you have identified all the “hazards” which exist for a given situation or business area.

Through a detailed investigation into safety-related occurrences (whether accidents or incidents) we can often see clear indicators of the various deficiencies and exposures within the system and can therefore use the information to determine the hazards that are either contributing to the event or are latent.

2. Proactive Hazard Identification

Essentially this is where detailed analysis of the current level of exposure can be developed as part of the development of a CAMO Risk Register.

Through analysis of existing or real-time situations together with the associated analysis and assessment processes. (Essentially this process is seeking hazards in the existing processes.)

This is the primary job of the safety assurance function using any or all of the following

a) Audits
b) Evaluations
c) Employee reporting

3. Predictive Hazard Identification

This is probably the most challenging of SMS techniques and essentially involves the analysis of DATA so it is not something that can be fully engaged with until time has passed and sufficient DATA has been accumulated.

Through data gathering in order to identify possible negative future outcomes or events.

Analyzing system processes and the environment to identify potential future hazards and initiating mitigating actions.

Examples of the internal sources of hazard identification available to an organization include:

a) Flight data analysis
b) Company voluntary reporting system
c) Safety surveys
d) Safety audits
e) Normal operations monitoring schemes
f) Trend analysis
g) Feedback from training
h) Investigation and follow-up of incidents

Examples of external sources of hazard identification available to an organization include:

a) Accident reports
b) State mandatory occurrence reporting system
c) State voluntary reporting system
d) State oversight audits
e) Information exchange systems

Next Steps

Sofema Aviation Services SAS ( and Sofema Online SOL ( provide Classroom, Webinar & Online Training Courses specifically focused on the needs of the Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) and Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO).

For details please see the websites or email or

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