Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Regulatory

The Emergency Response Plan should demonstrate compliance with ORO.GEN.200 and AMC1 ORO.GEN,200(a)(1);(2);(3)(5) point (f) and should be designed to help the organisation to respond in the case of accidents, serious incidents or any other abnormal event triggering a crisis.

The number of phases that need to be implemented need to be established in order to prevent the potential confusion that can result when emergency situations arise.

Senior management must identify the responsibilities within their organisation, respond to the needs of next of kin of the crew and the passengers, and provide assistance to the emergency services and the authority in charge of any investigation.

Emergency Response Plan Objective

The aim of the Emergency Response Plan is to:

Last modified on

Sofema Aviation Services considers the steps necessary to deliver an effective Organisational Aviation Safety Management System (SMS)

For Any Organizational Project to be successful it must have ownership, an agreed timeline and sufficient resources to accomplish.

The Importance of Manpower Commitment

Note 1 – How does the organisation ensure there is sufficient manpower – what is the mechanism to assess – who is responsible and how does the Accountable Manager know he has this correct.

Note 2 – How does the AM ensure sufficient financial commitment to the delivery of a successful SMS – how is this represented and measured?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

Within the Aviation Safety Management System it is necessary to develop effective methods of both Top Down & Bottom up Communication.

How to measure the current status of the communication effectiveness?

Consider a Communication Audit!

A communication audit is a thorough evaluation of the organization’s ability to deliver information to every level with the organisation.

Essential the communication audit looks at both the internal mechanisms as well as the external communications for example:

a) With Contract Organizations – Data Exchange Methods!
b) With Sub Contract Service Providers (Direct Oversight)
c) Delivering information to the Front Line
d) Dealing with the challenge of the Iceberg or Ignorance

Last modified on

Sofema Aviation Services considers the major challenges


Without doubt an Effective Aviation Safety Management System (SMS) provides industry with a key driver to manage the various elements, which together can support the lowering of the exposure and lead to a reduction of incidents and accidents.

The crux of implementing an effective safety management system (SMS) is not just in defining it, but effectively implementing it throughout the business with everyone acting as a stakeholder and engaging with the organisations processes.

Tagged in: AM ICAO Safety SMS
Last modified on

Regulatory Background

According to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, (Basic Regulation Replaced by 2018/1139) Pilot training organisations and aero-medical centres are to hold a certificate.

The certificate is to be issued upon fulfilment of certain technical and administrative requirements. Rules on the administration and management system of these organisations should therefore be provided for.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 (amended by Regulation 290/2012) lays down detailed rules for certain pilots’ licences and for the conversion of national pilots’ licences and of national flight engineers’ licences into pilots’ licences, as well as the conditions for the acceptance of licences from third countries.

Tagged in: 1178/2011 290/2012 ATO EASA
Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Technical Standard Order (TSO), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), Canadian Technical Standard Order (CAN-TSO).

Sofema Aviation Service ( provides regulatory and vocational compliant training for EASA, FAA, OTAR, GCAA & GACA regulations.

A Bi-Lateral Agreement exists between the EU & Canada and between the EU & FAA concerning mutual recognition, the following document considers the relationship.


Acceptance is when an importing authority acknowledges an exporting authority’s issuance and treats it with the same validity as if they had made the issuance.

In plain language:

Last modified on


Agreement was reached in relation to the extension of 145 certification approval between the European Community (European Aviation Safety Agency - EASA) and the USA (Federal Aviation Administration - FAA) and between EASA and Canada (Transport Canada Civil Aviation - TCAA).

Details of the agreements are issued in the form of two separate guidance materials known as Maintenance Annex Guidance and hereinafter referred to as the MAG. 

Maintenance Annex Guidance 

Is sub-divided into three Sections; 

Last modified on

Official Title

Technical Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness and Environmental Certification under The Agreement on Civil Aviation Safety between The Government of Canada & the European Union (Revision 3 - 18 September 2017).


The purpose of these Technical Implementation Procedures is to define the interface requirements and activities between Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the import, export, and continued support of civil aeronautical products.

TCCA and EASA shall conduct their certification and validation activities consistent with the Agreement on Civil Aviation Safety (hereafter referred to as the Agreement) and these Technical Implementation Procedures.

Last modified on

Steve Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services ( takes a look at the Flight Ops Quality System


In 1998 The Joint Aviation Authorities launched JAR OPS 1 (and “3”) contained within the document was for the first time a specific requirement (JAR OPS Subpart B 1.035) for an independent audit function within the Operations Environment – With the transition to EASA Regulation 965/2012 a number of anomalies and miss conceptions where addressed. 

The UAE Ops Regulation is fundamentally based on JAR OPS 1.

What is an EASA Quality System?

Essentially it consists of a method to deliver the organisations “product” under the control of nominated persons – this is a “Control of Quality” together with an independent function to assess compliance and this is known as “Quality Assurance”.

Last modified on

Note 1 – This appendix carries essential information relevant to the management and oversight responsibilities of an Organisation, both internally within the organisation and externally related to subcontract service providers.

(a) General An operator must have a sound and effective management structure in order to ensure the safe conduct of air operations.

Nominated post holders must have managerial competency together with appropriate technical/operational qualifications in aviation.

Note 2 – Consider the challenge of managing and maintaining competence – how is it controlled? How is it managed and against what standard is it audited?

(b) Nominated Post Holders

Last modified on

FDM Data Analysis Introduction


EASA Compliant Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the exploitation of flight data to support an understanding of the various exposures, the knowledge of which, may successfully lead to the development of mitigations which can be employed to enhance flight safety.

Aircrafts are analysed to identify any exceedances (a specialist task typically performed using software tools). Analysts can analyse data from normal ops to identify trends before there is a significant event or incident.

Last modified on

The amount of Digital Data available in modern aircraft facilitates FDM providing the opportunity for effective analysis which is essential to provide for the best decisions regarding both the performance of flight crew as well as the aircraft systems and processes.

Aircraft are analysed to identify any exceedances (a specialist task typically performed using software tools).

Gathering FDM Data

Traditionally, data needs to be downloaded to a removable disk regularly before the data is lost. But latest technologies allow wireless data transmission from recorders to the ground station, which is more accessible for research and monitoring purposes.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

SofemaOnline ( takes a look at fire safety.

Understanding simple rules can help us to do the right thing when we are faced with a Fire Emergency.

Ensuring Fire safety means understanding the set of practices which are intended to reduce the exposure to the risk of Fire under any circumstances.

Fire safety measures include all activities and behaviours which are intended to prevent the possibility of an uncontrolled fire.

Tagged in: Emergency Fire Safety
Last modified on

What is Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)?

Even though Aviation is probably the safest form of mass transport, there remains an inherent obligation to reduce exposure and thereby drive down accident rates.

Operational Flight Data Monitoring, known more recently as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), is probably the most important safety tool available to aviation.

Essentially Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the exploitation of flight data to support an understanding of the various exposures, the knowledge of which, may successfully lead to the development of mitigations which can be employed to enhance flight safety.

Last modified on

SofemaOnline takes a looks at a typical FDM configuration

Primary Objective

According to Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, “Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) means the proactive and non-punitive use of digital flight data from routine operations to improve aviation safety”.

European regulations expect the National Aviation Authority – NAA (competent authority) to have oversight of the Management Systems of their aircraft operators.

An EASA Flight Data Monitoring System (FDM) provides a set of tools for the operator to monitor operational safety. (FDM becomes the main data sources for monitoring the operational safety level.)

Last modified on

Operational Flight Data Monitoring, known more recently as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), is probably the most important safety tool available to aviation.

Rather than reacting to serious incidents, operators have a very useful tool to proactively identify safety hazards and mitigate the risks.

What Happens to Identified Events?

Whilst each individual event typically needs to be investigated so that the appropriate management decisions may be made by the airline, there is an opportunity for a deeper and longer lasting outcome.

Event data may be managed to facilitate the wider and longer-term trend analysis so that events & issues can be identified and corrective action is taken.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Regulatory

Practical guide to Fire & Safety Risk Assessment

What is Fire Safety Risk Assessment?

Essentially it is the process of considering any aspect within the workplace which could cause harm to people or premises from fire. To determine both the possibility of a fire occurring together with the potential dangers from fire.

What do we Meaning by Risk?

“Fire Risk” or “Potential” can be defined as the Likelihood of a fire occurring multiplied by the Severity of the fire.

The potential of a fire hazard depends on the “opportunity for development” of a fire which originates from the hazard and then develops the potential consequences related to the loss or injury of both life & property.

Tagged in: Assessment Fire Risk Safety
Last modified on

The following white paper considers a number of challenges faced by EASA Regulatory Authorities to engage with a Performance-Based Approach in this case with Aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring (ACAM) (however there is a read across into SMS).

Steve Bentley is MD of Sofema Aviation Services

Last modified on

The Role of EASA 

EASA commenced operations on September 28, 2003. Under the regulation, EASA initially has responsibility for: 

a) All design approvals
b) Continued airworthiness
c) Design organization approvals
d) Environmental certification
e) Approving production
f) Maintenance (repair station), and
g) Maintenance training organizations

Tagged in: Bilateral CA EASA FAA TCCA
Last modified on

How Effective is your Maintenance Error Management System (MEMS)?

The basic MEDA philosophy is based on an understanding that people do not intentionally make errors and that organizational factors play a significant and contributory role.

It is widely recognized that the majority of causal and contributory factors leading to an error can be managed. In addition developing root cause understandings, leads to a wider and more effective mitigation process.

Where do you Stand?

How many of the following questions can you answer?

Last modified on