Safety with Magellan Jets
“Safety is our number one priority!”
is something you hear a lot, especially in aviation. You can bet that every operator out there will make this same claim. But are they all the same? How can you ensure that a private aviation operator is walking the walk when it comes to safety?
Over the past decades, air travel has become exponentially safer, thanks in part to a worldwide shift in safety culture. In the past, aviation safety measures were purely reactionary. A mid-air collision in 1956, for example, prompted the expansion of radar and a more robust ATC system, but only after hundred of lives perished. A lavatory fire that killed 23 passengers prompted the FAA to install smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers in lavatories. Similarly, redundant hydraulics systems were required in all new aircraft after a total hydraulic failure caused the crash landing of United 232.
There is still much to be learned from accidents and incidents, of course, but the aviation industry isn’t a forgiving one. When it come to making mistakes, loss of life (or aircraft) as a primary method for positive change isn’t an option we want to rely on. Instead, the industry has had to take a much harder look at preventing tragedy before it happens.
WHAT IS A SAFTEY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
Enter the safety management system (SMS) – an industry safety standard meant to identify and mitigate risk with the ultimate goal of preventing accidents and improving overall safety.
But what does this mean for private aviation customers? A private aviation client needs to be aware of the specific safety aspects of an SMS that a company employs. The term “safety management system” is broad, and a single SMS can be simple and effective or complex and ineffective, depending on the company and its culture.
It first helps to take a look at what a good SMS looks like, and then examine these factors when comparing private aviation companies.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF SAFTEY
First, it helps to know that safety management systems aim to take a holistic approach to safety instead of a reactionary one. We do this in multiple ways, best described by a universally adopted definition from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which includes four pillars of safety management systems.