Friday, February 1, 2013

Reporting Airline Airport Hazards Using IPad & IPhone

Airline Airport Hazard Reporting Using IPhone and IPad

Hazard Reporting via IPad is a Winner!
A common request from airlines is the ability to report hazards into their aviation safety management system using an "offline" mode. Many airlines and corporate operators fly in remote areas where Internet connectivity is either nonexistent or very unreliable. In these cases, users need a way to draft hazards or concerns when the users have time, and not when the Internet is available. For example, an airline pilot may want to submit an issue while out flying and Internet connectivity is not possible.

SMS Pro created an offline hazard reporting tool in 2010 for desktop PCs. This offline hazard reporting software was created for operations in Canada and Africa where satellites provided Internet connectivity. Several operators tried this out, but the offline hazard reporting module for airlines had some disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Offline Hazard Reporting Module in SMS Pro

The desktop PC version of SMS Pro had to be installed on every computer. This was not a Web application where all the files required to operate the system resided in the cloud, hosted on the Web servers provided by NorthWest Data Solutions in Anchorage, Alaska. Whenever a change occurred to the program, updates needed to be pushed to every box that had the offline hazard reporting software installed.

Requests for IPhone/IPad App to Report Hazards to Aviation SMS Software

Hazard Reporting in Flight is Possible
A common request is for SMS Pro to offer an IPhone or IPad app that would allow users to report issues when offline. Great idea, but totally unnecessary. IPad support for SMS Pro's aviation safety management software has been provided since IPad come onto the market. Large airline pilot organizations first tested SMS Pro on their IPads because the vision was that IPads would be included in the flight bags.

SMS Pro users have been using IPads for more than submitting airline/airport hazards. They have been conducting daily runway inspections, airfield lighting inspections and many of the other tasks that are supported in SMS Pro.

More frequently, users have been asking for the magic IPad app that would allow users to submit issues in offline mode. Pilots do not want to wait until they return to their computers or wait until they are in range of Internet connectivity. But most pilots today are using either an IPad or IPhone, or another smart phone device.

How to Report Airline Hazards In Offline Mode Using IPad?

The answer is reporting hazards, airline accidents and incidents into your SMS Pro aviation safety management software framework is not difficult. Almost from the beginning of SMS Pro in 2008, the ability to report issues via email was supported. And reporting issues by email is the simplest, most effective way to increase hazard and incident reporting in your organization.

Approximately 30% of SMS Pro portals (out of  several hundred) have configured their portals to accept email reporting. If you have not yet done so, details for this configuration can be found at

When you create an email in IPad or IPhone and you do not have Internet connectivity, the email is placed in the Outbox. When Internet access is returned, the email is automatically sent without further intervention. This is the same functionality as SMS Pro's offline hazard reporting module.

IPad & IPhone Hazard Reporting Improves Reporting Culture

Easily Get Hazard Reports
Why should you configure your SMS Pro portal to accept email reporting? Humans are lazy by nature. Laziness breeds invention. If a user can submit an airline/airport hazard, accident or incident by email, this will most certainly be the choice over the alternatives, which may include:
  • Paper based hazard reports; and
  • Electronic Web based hazard reports.
The disadvantage of IPad and IPhone hazard reporting using email is that all report details are wrapped in the message subject and body. There may be other details that may be needed from safety managers. In this case, safety managers would have to contact the reporter to get more details.

Another disadvantage of IPad and IPhone hazard reporting by email is that anonymous reporting is not guaranteed. Using SMS Pro's web based hazard reporting software, users can elect to report anonymously. Using email, a user is waiving his right to anonymous reporting.

More Information About Hazard Reporting

Related Posts

  • How to Report Aviation Incidents & Accidents by Email 
  • Public Issue Reporting Aviation Safety Hazards
  • 11 Ways to Submit Issues Using SMS Pro™ Hazard Reporting Software
  • Safety Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Statement Sample
  • How to Increase Airline/Airport Hazard Reporting
  • Reporting Airline Airport Hazards Using IPad & IPhone
  • How to Encourage Employees to Use SMS Hazard Reporting Tools
  • Hazard Reporting for Airlines/Airports SMS for All Stakeholders
  • Hazard Reporting for Effective Aviation SMS Management Systems

  • 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™.

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