Blog posts tagged in Safety


The Current Portfolio of SAS “TTT” - training courses currently on offer include Ramp Safety / HF TTT - Maintenance Instructor TTT, Human Factors TTT, Internal Auditor TTT, Safety Management System TTT, Fuel Tank Safety (FTS) & Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS) TTT and Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) TTT.

Correct Understanding is Important

Let's have a clear understanding here because it is important to understand that a 3 or 4 day training does not “Deliver” a trainer and clearly we would be “not correct”  if we were to believe this to be so.☺

The reality is that this course as well as other activities is part of a systematic process of building soft skills and competence across a range of topics which support the organization.

Tagged in: Ramp RSHF Safety Trainer TTT
Last modified on

It is not possible to separate the Safety Management System from the need to manage Ramp HF in the most effective way. In fact the more integration the better in terms of understanding and managing the exposure.

All the elements which are considered as part of our Aviation Ramp Safety & Human Factors Exposure may typically be accommodated and addressed as part of the delivery of the SMS system.

If we are able to study and take appropriate action in respect of the human factors issues, we will be able to better prepare to deal with human factors issues and behaviours in our daily routine.

Driven by ICAO obligations European Countries (as well as the rest of the world) are required to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of ICAO Annex 19.

Airports are specifically mentioned within the requirements related to the need for a State Safety Program as well as the need to demonstrate compliance with the SMS obligations.

Tagged in: HF MHF Ramp Safety SMS
Last modified on

Steven Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services believes it is time to recognise QAS as a component of our organisations' SMS.

Where Should an EASA Compliant Quality Assurance System “Sit” in relation to the Organisations SMS?


Historically (and growing up in the workplace through the 1970’s I can attest to the fact) there was no formal Quality Assurance within European Aviation Operations.

Of course we had Quality Control and the Role of Flight Operations Director and within Maintenance the Role of “Chief Inspector”.

As the Joint Airworthiness Authority’s influence grew the concept of an independent assessment of conformity became the acceptable way of demonstrating compliance.

Tagged in: QA QC Quality Safety SMS
Last modified on


Effective safety reporting of hazards by operational personnel is an important cornerstone of the management of safety. Therefore, an operational environment in which operational personnel have been trained and are constantly encouraged to report hazards is the prerequisite for effective safety reporting.

The ICAO requirements require that aviation service providers develop and maintain, within the scope of their SMS, a formal process for collecting, recording, acting on and generating feedback about hazards in operations. The process shall be based on a combination of reactive, proactive and predictive methods of safety data collection. 

Best Practice Considerations

Consider the following as best practice objectives regarding the delivery of an optimize and effective Safety Management System.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

Sofema Aviation Service looks at SMS reporting from the EASA perspective

What do we mean by Safety Occurrence Reporting?

We use the term Safety Occurrence to identify as a collective term which is used to embrace all events which have, or could have significance in the context of aviation safety.

Events identified may in fact range from minor events which are deemed to have a potential for an impact on safety through to incidents or events that should be reported to more serious events including serious incidents and accidents.

Building a Reporting Culture

The willingness to report, safety related exposures is a significant measure when we are considering the effectiveness of Safety Management System.

Last modified on

One of the biggest barriers to an effective Safety Management System (SMS) depends on the willingness of the employees to engage with the organisational system and for the managers to support such a program in a positive and tolerant way.

Without the willingness to engage with the Safety Management System (SMS) the level of data capture will lead to the creation of barriers.

Full engagement by the Management Team is an essential first step on the journey and without doubt. If we are going to maintain a healthy safety management systems (SMS) we require an open process of hazard reporting which allows us to understand the exposure and to reduce the operational risk.

How we are impact the various organisational barriers is in turn impacted by cultural and other behaviours which are often routed in mistrust.

Last modified on

Sofema Aviation Services looks at typical performance indicators within an Integrated Operation

Flight Operation

Ground Operations


The following list serves as an introduction to a range of indicators which may be employed within your organisation to support the development of Key Indicators and to facilitate the measurement of Safety Performance across the business.

Using Data derived from the Compliance Quality Audit Program to support the Performance Metrics of the Safety Management System

1/ Internal audits/compliance monitoring: all non-compliances

a) Total number of findings per audit planning cycle & trend

b) % of findings which have a safety significance

Last modified on

We are very pleased to announce the availability of our latest training which provides for an opportunity to update regarding both the status and effectiveness of your organisational SMS.

Building on the successful release of several Aircraft Maintenance Planning and Production Planning Courses we are pleased to offer this opportunity to provide for a review and update of SMS best practice processes to be developed within your organisation.

Developed to be completed in one day Safety Management System Overview and Recurrent provides for a comprehensive review of the overall effectiveness of your SMS.

We have watched Safety Management Systems grow following an understanding that the reality today is that the major cause of accidents is related to human error which in some way is able to impact the overall process increasing the level of risk and exposure.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

When we consider Dangerous Goods (DG) in aviation the primary concern is the Safety of Passengers, Crew plus the Aircraft as of course the actual Goods which are being transported.

If DG is mishandled in some way it can cause delays and disruption, it may even cause a serious and ultimately fatal accident with the potential loss of even of the aircraft and occupants.

What do we mean by DG?

Essentially we may consider Dangerous Goods are articles or substances capable of posing a risk to a person’s health, safety, property or the environment.

As well as Dangerous Goods which form part of the aircraft basic operational configuration and as such do not need to be declared, Dangerous Goods are also carried on-board the aircraft in passenger or crew carry-on baggage, as well as in the cargo holds as checked passenger baggage, or carried and declared as Dangerous Goods in cargo.

Last modified on

Hazards of Airplane Fuel - Tank Entry
To ensure effective maintenance within the Fuel Tank Systems there is a need to develop procedures associated with Fuel Tank Entry, Personnel Protection, Working within the Fuel Tank Environment and Fuel Tank Closure.

The separate elements to consider include fully understanding the potential hazards - Fire and explosion, toxic chemicals as well as oxygen deficiency.

Procedures for entry within the tank, ensuring the safety of the environment for the maintenance worker.

Preparations include electrically grounding the aircraft, defueling in accordance with maintenance manual procedures and deactivating all associated systems to ensure personnel safety.

Last modified on

Do we agree on what we mean we talk about the management of change in connection with our Safety Management System (SMS)?

Essential we are talking about changes within the business which may in some way increase our exposure to risk!

Unfortunately within the business many changes take place which are not considered for the impact that they may create related to increased risk, any lack of communication or in fact even perceived lack of communication (yes perception can lead to negative outcomes) may have negative connotations or worse!

Change Management is an area which deserves more attention than often it receives, the more visibility we provide and the more attention we give to the change then the more likely we will be to address the underlying issues.

Last modified on

What do we mean by developing a consistent approach?

Well, we want our approach to be system driven and not overly reliant on individuals. Means we want the outcomes to be as independent as possible from the people.

For this to happen a number of elements need to be in place:

a) Procedures

The procedures which describe the methodology employed need to be in sufficient detail to enable all the users to work with them in the same way. We are always going to have a significant degree of subjectivity in our approach to SMS but this does not preclude the development of effective procedures.

Last modified on

What is the goal of the Aviation Safety Management System - SMS?

Well quite simply it is to:

a) Identify hazards or exposures across every area and facet of the business (ideally considering also financial exposure)
b) Assess the risk in respect of each hazard and how it is currently perceived or how it may be perceived in the future to the organisation, department or person (This is an extremely subjective activity and requires a strong degree of competence)
c) To develop appropriate mitigations to deliver an improvement which will take the risk to the lowest level possible (ALARP) using organisational tools to test or measure proposed solutions so that they are cost effective

Last modified on

We “should” all agree that an effective aviation Safety Management System establishes clear safety roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.

Moreover it should also be understood that we must ensure that these safety roles and responsibilities are clearly documented, (Auditable) understood, (Measurable) and practiced throughout the organization (Visible and Evidence based).

Our goal should be for individuals to both understand their own responsibilities together with an appreciation of how their individual activities may impact the safety, performance and behaviour of our colleagues within the organization as a whole.
Each business area within the organization must assume both responsibility and accountability for safety of the key elements of personal safety and organisational safety and financial safety.

Best Practice Behaviour to support our SMS

All employees should have a clear understanding of their individual safety roles and responsibilities. (This information should also appear in each job description.)

Last modified on

Who is best placed to answer this question? In fact the starting point should be – "What do we want our SMS to do for us?"

We often talk about the management of change and here we do not need to look any further than the implementation of an SMS as our first challenge.

As either a perfect opportunity to develop and optimize the organisation or alternatively as an organizational burden which requires specific actions to ensure compliance.

So in reality this question should be answered by the Accountable Manager and the Management Team. In fact once we answer the question then other decisions become easier and we can start to develop the structure of the SMS.

Please note it is a significant step backwards to jump into SMS implementation without really appreciating what your real goals are. So assume we have decided that we see the SMS as a real business opportunity to develop and optimize the organization.What should we do next?

Last modified on

To consider the differences and the advantages of bringing together the elements associated with MEDA and the analytical capacity which is available within the SMS system.

Maintenance Error Management System (MEMS) which is typically represented by “Maintenance Error Decision Aid” (MEDA) as developed by Boeing is an effective way of analyzing events (initially MEDA was developed to facilitate the analysis of incidents and accidents – At the inception its use was employed where there was an adverse outcome; however it was subsequently extended and it is now typically found to be also be employed for the investigation of events.

Tagged in: MEDA MEMS Safety SMS
Last modified on