Thirdly, safety assurance is the element that ensures a means to figure out ways to control or mitigate risk. This may be accomplished by assigning people inside and out of the operation who are responsible for both internal process reviews for compliance as well as external vendor compliance with established performance parameters.
Finally, we must promote and encourage safety throughout the organization by establishing a positive safety culture through ongoing analysis and communication.
The IS-BAO standards for maintenance providers focuses on the maintenance operator’s Maintenance Control System which should be described in the company operations manual and identify the accountable person in the organization responsible for the maintenance control system. Additionally, the maintenance provider’s control system should define the details, scope, and parameters of maintenance agreements, to include the conditions under which they may be performed. Let’s review just some of the areas of maintenance operations where safety is enhanced with the implementation of an SMS.
The maintenance connection
The standards are written to ensure regulatory information and technical data appropriate to the work performed are utilized, and the work is in compliance with the operations manual. Maintenance training must ensure that personnel are familiar with regulations, standards, and procedures associated with certain work. Initial training of personnel, as well as aircraft type training, and recurrent training programs become embedded in the SMS.
Defect reporting and control should be included in the maintenance operator’s control system to ensure that defects detected during aircraft operation and during the performance of maintenance or servicing are recorded. Technical dispatch instructions which form the basis upon which the pilot in command will determine aircraft serviceability in respect of airworthiness directives, maintenance, and operational or operator requirements have their place in the SMS.
Positive tool and material control processes can reduce aircraft accidents and incidents which can result from tools and materials left inside an aircraft after maintenance has been performed. The process should be accounted for within maintenance forms and appropriate checklists such as final inspection checklist.
By now it is apparent that there is a fairly robust portion of the IS-BAO standard devoted to the maintenance function. The areas described are those that an auditor of your operation and facility will look at to determine if you are actually doing what your operations manual states you are doing.
When considering the development of an SMS, and registered compliance with the IS-BAO audit, many companies view the task as overwhelming. Do not let this deter you. In reality, you are most likely already doing about 85 percent of the work that the IS-BAO standard and the SMS would require. Instead look at the SMS as a way to review, prepare, and cross-check everything you are doing currently, then identify the safety gaps, and remedy them.
It should be pointed out that the IS-BAO standards have been established with the goal of enhancing safety, not to look over someone’s shoulder for what is wrong. Through a second set of eyes, it is verified that things are being done correctly for the benefit and safety of the I/A, the A&Ps, and the customer. The human factor pressures latently inherent in a maintenance operation often overwhelm managerial and nonmanagerial personnel. Complacency can creep in disguised as an attitude of “I am operating safely and don’t need to be criticized.” Truth be known, with this attitude prevalent, the longer you go without an accident or incident, the closer you are to having one.
Effective Aug. 25, 2009, IS-BAO is recognized as an industry standard for business aircraft operations by the European Committee for standardization, which enables a maintenance provider’s IS-BAO registration to be recognized within the proposed European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Implementing Rule System. EASA has formally begun the process of implementing SMS regulations for international operations. Additional education and information may be found at www.ibac.org or www.easa.eu.int/home.php. AMT
To increase the success rate of your SMS I recommend taking simple small bites to whittle away at a larger task.
The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its Member Associations have developed an SMS toolkit which will be part of the IS-BAO – an International Standard for Business Aircraft...
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