Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aviation Key Safety Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Aviation Key Safety Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Aviation KPI Guide Operational Goals
Aviation key performance indicators or KPIs (also known in the industry as safety performance indicators) provide airlines and airports important metrics to improve their aviation safety record. Key Performance Indicators measure organizations' critical success factors. KPIs may differ depending on type of aviation organization, such as size of airline, helicopter operations, air traffic control or MROs.  An important Key Performance Indicator for every airline or airport is the number of reported hazards, accidents and incidents during the year. This not only measures the obvious, but also infers corporate safety culture or the reporting culture of the individual airline or airport.

Whatever Key Performance Indicators your choose to adopt for your airline or airport, they must reflect important organizational goals. KPIs must be key to organizational success, and they must be quantifiable (measurable). Aviation Key Safety Performance Indicators may be long-term or short term (quarterly, semi-annual or annual). Which safety key performance indicators your organization targets and how they are measured should not change often in order for results to be compared with over time. Tracking KPIs over time helps identify trends and demonstrates improvements (or lack of).

Organizational goals for particular Key Performance Indicators may change as organizational goals change, or as you approach the completion of your goals. Therefore, don't feel that you have to be married to your chosen KPIs indefinitely.

Aviation Safety Performance Monitoring

Web Based Aviation Safety Software Tracks Goals
In SMS Pro's Web based aviation safety management software, your organization creates goals and objectives based on past performance. In SMS Pro's Goals & Objectives module, real time statistics are generated so your organization can easily create realistic goals and objectives based on real-time aviation safety key performance indicators.

Which aviation key performance indicators you configure or find of value will differ from your type of operations, whether you belong to flight ops or air traffic management, MROs, helicopter operators, etc. However, we have identified several safety performance indicators that are common across all airlines and airports and these are captured in SMS Pro's "Performance Monitoring" module.

For example, a most useful safety performance indicator is the financial data. How much money have all your safety-related issues cost your organization this year, last year, the last ten years? Or if you like, you may narrow down the financial safety performance indicator to determine which division in your organization costs the organization most in terms of safety, security, quality, compliance or environmental issues.

Most Common Aviation Safety Performance Indicators

Air traffic management key performance indicators vary little from the key performance indicators of airlines, airports, MROs & helicopter operators. For example, widely popular and acceptable KPIs include financial, aviation safety investigations, safety communications and types of issues reported (Safety, Quality, Security, Compliance and Environmental).

 Another useful tool to effectively identify your safety performance indicators are "Trending Charts." SMS Pro has very full featured aviation safety trending charts to allow you to visualize your aviation safety key performance indicators.

Purpose of Aviation Safety Key Performance Indicators

Many aviation professionals and SMS subject matter consultants have provided feedback into the  development of SMS Pro's safety performance indicators that target useful aviation-related business processes at the management level. What follows are some safety key performance indicator metric that are tracked automatically be SMS Pro's Web based aviation safety software:

General KPIs

 In SMS Pro, these aviation safety key performance indicators may be filtered by year and division.

If you see an aviation safety key performance indicator missing from this list, please drop us an email at

Other Lists of Key Performance Indicators

List of Key Performance Indicators for Airlines
List of Key Performance Indicators for Airports/Aerodromes

Other Learning Resources About Aviation KPIs for Airlines & Airports

Choosing Key Performance Indicators - Airlines and Airports
5 Tips for Controlling Aviation Key Performance Indicators
7 Quick Tips for a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Strategy
4 Steps to Automate Key Performance Indicator KPI Monitoring

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at and to learn more about SMS Pro™.