Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aviation Safety Risk Management Database

Risk Management Occurs Within a "System"

Aviation risk management remains the most crucial element of an effective aviation risk management system. Operators manage risk in everyday activities, but we don't focus formal, structured process needed in an ICAO compliant SMS risk management framework.

Managing Aviation Risk Using databases
Aviation providers implementing ICAO compliant SMS programs are recommended to structure risk management strategies according to best practices, which are found in quality aviation risk management database software.

Phases for Managing Aviation-Related Risk

Aviation risk management strategies (or best practices), commonly possess these risk management cycle phases:
Airline and airport risk management best practices
Identify & Report Hazards: Determine whether potential risk exists and report it using formal hazard reporting tools (paper based, Web reporting forms, audits, gap analysis, etc). The SMS Pro™ Web-based hazard reporting form is a customizable solution with automatic email notifications that is recognized as best in class. Other capabilities of SMS Pro's hazard reporting and aviation risk management database software includes:
  • Customized forms requiring minimal costs to incorporate additional data elements;
  • Many predefined Web-based hazard reporting forms for flight operations, maintenance, ect. that meet most user needs;
  • Quick report features for mobile Web users or others who may pressured for time and need to submit a "quick hazard report;"

Assess Risk: Determine severity and probability of risk with a standard, best in class, risk matrix like SMS Pro's Customizable Risk Matrix. Whenever potential risk is minimal (low to medium severity, low likelihood of occurrence), your policies may state that no additional actions is required unless the issue repeatedly occurs. With significant or major risks, which could cause injury or damage to users and equipment, you need to implement reactive risk management processes. Based on reported issue's severity and type of issue, one may also choose to use SMS Pro™ to:
  • Set targeted closure dates (so issues don't remain open forever);
  • Inform regulatory authorities or clients (when required by contract), that the issue has occurred.

Classify Risk: The best risk management database software offers simple, flexible, customizable strategies to classify risk. One must understand risks before they can be managed effectively. Consequently, aviation providers adopt risk classification systems or create their own. Many will start with a template and modify the schema as necessary. Classifying risks (or reported issues) allows aviation organizations to identify and control risk, which is a major element of aviation risk management. SMS Pro™ offers the best system that is very comprehensive, yet flexible enough for all types of organziations, such as airports, airlines, FBOs, MROs, and flight schools. SMS Pros risk classification framework helps identify risk which is useful for generating reports to communicate risk.

Corrective/Preventive Action Plan: Control identified risks based on the risk's severity and likelihood of occurrence. Develop various alternatives and perform a cost/benefit analysis when necessary using SMS Pro™. Automatically generate a Corrective Action Plan for audits, whether they are external or internal audits.

Mitigate or Transfer: Put into action the corrective and preventive actions created in the previous phase to mitigate identified risk. Reassess risk after all corrective and preventive actions have been implemented. When risk is not within acceptable risk management levels, return to the previous phase to put further corrective and preventive actions into play. When corrective and preventive actions fail to reduce risk to acceptable levels, continue analyzing the risk to determine actions to bring the identified risk to an acceptable severity level.

Track: After mitigating risks to an acceptable severity level, track these risks' implemented corrective actions to ensure they remain effective and are controlling the risk. As time passes, ensure implemented corrective actions don't increase risks when they were implemented to alleviate the risk.These items remain the core of any best in breed risk management program. They are easily managed using aviation risk management database software.

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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