Human Factors Implications

The three-part document, which addresses all aspects of Maintenance SMS for operators and regulatory authorities, is nearly 500 pages. EASA considers not only safety but also costs.

The materials presented in this section of the NPA are nothing short of an excellent tutorial and guidance on an effective error reporting system. It provides the ideal guidance on how to establish an error reporting system and even how to assess the characteristics of your existing system.

Section 145.A.65 (a)(3) Management System

While not HF specific this section provides excellent guidance to build and or assess your current safety risk management programs. It is a “must read” for those involved with SMS, whether you hold an EASA 145 certificate or not.

Implementation schedule

Regulators are always a bit uncertain to specify dates that the proposed amendments will take place. There are a lot of variables, like the amount and natures of the public comments. A reasonable estimate is Fall 2015.

Summary statement

The article has been based solely on the information presented in the NPA, without commentary. However a few words of individual scientific comments are appropriate in closing.

Safety management systems (SMS) are universally supported by all NAAs. SMS is an extension of the many safety systems that have been in place, at most aviation organizations, for a long time. Reasonable standardization of SMS across the world will help all organizations, including business and government, to reinforce the critical responsibility for and commitment to safety that the world’s aviation industry shares.

Aviation authorities foster continuing international safety initiatives by formalizing and requiring a minimum set of safe practices for everyone. Aviation authorities are usually very good at formalizing procedures/practices that can be shared by all. The fact that the authority makes compliance non-negotiable is very important. That ensures that organizations without the wisdom and/or the will are not allowed to be a part of this international industry.

Industry does not have to wait for government to enact practices that promise economic gains, worker satisfaction, personal safety, and the continuing uncompromised safety to travelers. EASA NPA 2013-1, like other authorities, proposes excellent steps to ensure the best possible SMS for those that choose the EASA endorsement. They encourage all organizations to benefit from their guidance. AMT


Dr. William Johnson is the FAA Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance Systems. Johnson is a member of the Human Factors Advisory Group to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Group worked with EASA to define human factors aspects of the proposed safety management system regulations.

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