What exactly is a Safety Performance Indicator (SPI) and how do they help enhance safety? In a nutshell, an SPI can make a Safety Manager’s job easier, because it is a safety parameter that measures levels of safety performance achieved. SPIs often analyze the frequency of occurrence of a given event.
Quick, accurate risk identification is essential for a successful operation. While some risks may be specific to a location, flight path, or aircraft, there are many that occur regularly and can be planned for ahead of time.
Through ARCrisk, ARC’s digital Risk Assessment Tool, flight departments log thousands of risk assessments every year. We’ve taken a look at the top 10 selected risk factors flight departments are facing and how to mitigate them. How do these compare to your top 10 factors and subsequent mitigations?
At AviationManuals a primary element of our services is ensuring our clients have the most up-to-date information about regulations, compliance, and requirements.
This month we’re announcing updates we made to our international operations procedures service in response to the new planning code requirements that were released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November 2022.
The FAA had identified potential gaps in the codes currently available in the international flight plan format that can result in ambiguity on specific advanced navigation capabilities. To improve understanding between operators and ATS, the FAA has introduced new codes for any aircraft that intends to use these capabilities.
For example, the new codes allow operators to indicate if an aircraft is fitted with advanced RNP and related capabilities such as Radius to Fix (RF) or Time of Arrival Control (TOAC), as well as RNP-2 in either continental or oceanic airspace.
These new codes will be required for any aircraft that intends to use these capabilities within FAA- controlled airspace and are effective immediately.
In response, we have updated our international operation procedures (IOP) services to reflect the new requirements and codes. Subscribed operators have received a Sky Brief update about the change and will see the new procedures updated in their manuals at their next annual revision. This is just one of the hundreds of requirements we monitor and review across multiple regulatory environments to ensure our clients always have the most relevant and timely information at their fingertips.
AviationManuals broadens its long-standing relationship with IBAC by expanding support for FBOs seeking IS-BAH certification.
ROCKVILLE, MD, August 23, 2022 – AviationManuals, the leading provider of procedure development services and Safety Management System (SMS) software, has received IS-BAH (International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling) PSA (Programme Support Affiliate) recognition. By becoming a PSA, AviationManuals has expanded its support solutions for FBOs to include those who wish to meet the IS-BAH standard or seek IS-BAH certification.
“FBOs are busy managing their own businesses and may have limited resources for figuring out SMS on their own,” said Mark Baier, CEO of AviationManuals. “ Many operators can benefit from our assistance to get them prepared for IS-BAH certification,” Baier said.
“While we have always helped FBOs with compliance and safety, we can now also support operators as a recognized PSA with IBAC,” said Kevin Honan, Senior Operations Advisor at AviationManuals. “We can assist FBOs in understanding, complying with, and maintaining the standards of the IS-BAH Program.”
Developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in 2014, the IS-BAH standard uses SMS to help FBOs manage workplace safety and prevent aircraft handling incidents and workplace injuries.
“IS-BAH certification is quickly becoming a popular way for FBOs to demonstrate their quality and professionalism,” continued Baier. “We want to support our clients looking to achieve this endorsement by providing them with our years of extensive operational support and SMS experience.”
About AviationManuals: Founded in 1996 AviationManuals’ philosophy is to make operations manuals and Safety Management Systems (SMS) accessible to every business aviation flight department, FBO and commercial drone operation. Headquartered in the Washington DC metro area, they support over 4,500 operators worldwide and are the leading provider of manual development services and Safety Management System (SMS) software for business aviation flight departments, aircraft management companies, and independent owner / operators around the globe. For more information visit www.aviationmanuals.com
Our popular SAFA Inspection Manual Service has been updated to conform with the latest guidance released by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As the Ramp Inspection Program expands, more operators are concerned about being prepared for an inspection, leading to an increase in customers getting SAFA Inspection Manuals. In the first half of 2022 we prepared almost the same number of SAFA Inspection Manuals as we did in all of 2021.
The updated Ramp Inspection Manual (RIM) Issue 3.0 from EASA does not require you to make changes to your flight department operations. Rather, it expands the guidance for inspectors performing checks clarifying differences for general aviation operators vs commercial. Additionally, the revisions give more information about items to be reviewed and pre-described findings.
Staying up to date is a vital part of safety. We have incorporated these changes, which in this case, will benefit both operators and inspectors in ensuring ramp checks continue to go smoothly.
EU Ramp Inspection Program
The program is utilized inside and outside of the EU and regulates the SAFA and SACA Inspections performed on aircraft to help facilitate safety and compliance. This includes checks on items such as pilot licenses, procedures, safety equipment, and aircraft condition.
These inspections may be performed in any EU Member State. They may also be initiated in non-EU Member States that are participating in the program, including Canada, Singapore, and most recently Brazil.
Ramp inspectors may check a list of over 50 items. Having an easy-to-navigate digital “binder” that address each item with evidence makes it quick to identify and locate compliance items. Additionally, it can help you to identify any areas of non-compliance prior to traveling to a participating State.
Interested in our SAFA Inspection Manual service? Request a quote.
Are you a Safety Management System (SMS) master? Take our quiz to find out.
With the emergence of social media, everyone can be a reporter. This means the release of information during a crisis has become a lot quicker. Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) must evolve to include a social media policy. Take a look at how you can use social media to your advantage, and how you can manage risks from other users?
The social media turning point
When the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Seoul to San Francisco crashed on the morning of July 6, 2013, the incident became a turning point for many companies regarding social media during an emergency. The news was online within seconds and spread like wildfire. Eyewitnesses, even passengers, had instantly taken to their mobiles to share the incident with the world. During the first hour alone, there were up to 50,000 tweets talking about Asiana Airlines. The companies involved were left scrambling to take control of the narrative. The concept of the “Golden Hour”, the time it took companies to assess the situation and activate an ERP, became a thing of the past.
When you decide to implement social media usage in your ERP, make sure it’s quick and easy to use, because you’ll have to execute the first steps immediately. Social media can be used either to the advantage or to the detriment of your operation. It’s important to understand how both sides work.
How to use social media to your advantage
Operators can use social media in two ways during a crisis:
- To communicate to stakeholders and the public
Nowadays, posting a statement on social media is equivalent to releasing a press announcement. It’s good practice to use social media for regular updates to build trust, show transparency and establish yourself as the go-to entity for updates on the situation. Keep in mind that if you plan to participate in the investigation, any updates pertaining to the investigation you share will first need to be approved by the investigative authority (in the U.S., that is the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB).
- To monitor news and rumors
Keep an eye on local news outlets around the area of the incident and online chatter. That way you can swiftly intervene in case of misinformation. There will likely be witness reports, photos and video of the incident, and lots of speculation in the absence of conclusive facts. Make sure you also follow the investigative authority’s social media accounts (for the NTSB, there’s the @ntsb_newsroom).
Smaller operators could use a third-party ERP provider to monitor these channels, as resources will potentially be tied up during an emergency.
The flip side of social media
While putting social media to good use, keep these potential risks in mind:
- People outside your organization
Thanks to smartphones and social channels, anyone can be a reporter nowadays. What they choose to share about an incident that involves you; however, is often more likely to harm than help. If someone posts an image of the incident on social media, people may recognize faces, company logos, or aircraft registration numbers.
- People inside your organization
Company employees need to be extremely careful about discussing the incident online. Information should come from one appointed source in an organization. Employees who don’t adhere to that rule, even on their personal accounts, could potentially harm those affected by the incident – including those involved or loved ones. For example, they might share the name of someone affected, making this information public before there has been a chance to notify that person’s family. They also run the risk of compromising the company’s ability to participate in the investigation should they release facts or speculation pertaining to the investigation, since their shared information would not be approved by the investigative authority. Finally, unvetted, unconfirmed rumors could seriously impact the company’s reputation.
How do you wisely implement social media in your ERP?
There are 4 things you should do to when developing policies regarding social media use during an emergency.
- Set clear policies on social media. Prepare this well in advance and make sure your staff knows the rules inside out. What to do, what not to do, and how to handle questions. They should also be well-versed in deploying the ERP, as well as their role in it.
- Appoint a communications officer. They’re responsible for working with the corporate office. If there’s no corporate office, they’re the one dealing with the media. Everything should come from one source, and one source only.
- Twitter is the fastest social media channel, and the one most likely to be used in a crisis. Get on there, get monitoring, and know how to use the platform. If you want to be fully prepared, you can create Twitter lists of local news channels and airports of the regions your aircraft are flying to.
- Coordinate with your HR and External Communications departments on these policies. Planning for an emergency begins long before anything goes wrong. Consider simulation exercises with all parties involved to train everyone on their role and the cooperation between them. Coordination will also ensure your company knows what to expect from the Flight Department to help avoid any surprises.
It’s an acronym bonanza: ASAP, ASIAS, and ASRS – how can you keep these safety reporting programs straight? Do you know which you should be using and why? Understanding these programs and when they apply can help take your safety culture to the next level.
By nature, safety is ingrained into our DNA in the aviation industry. But how do we ensure that we connect all the dots between good intentions and a consistently executed safety culture across the board? How can a safety officer gain full buy-in from their team?
When it comes to planning for an external audit, whether regulatory in nature or through one of the well-known standards bodies, most operators come prepared. But for maintaining high standards between audits, having an ongoing audit process is best.
By implementing an Internal Auditing Program (IAP), you can proactively identify areas of concern or non-compliance on a regular basis and continuously improve, similar to a Safety Management System (SMS) process. We explain how it can work.