It’s Not A Difference In Safety, Just A Different Risk Acceptor
An informative post from Helena1320
On demand flight operations are operating under different regulatory requirements and standards than scheduled airline flights. Non-certified airports are not accountable to the same standards as certified airports. There are many different codes and regulations applying to the different types of aviation service providers. These differences do not imply differences in aviation safety, but rather operational safety acceptance by different risk acceptors.
When an aviation service provider is issued an aviation certificate, that being for an airline or airport, the intent of operations is to operate in a safe environment, conform to regulatory requirements and to avoid incidents or accidents.
Since the general public have unfettered access to purchase airline tickets and use publicly available airports for travel, there are regulatory requirements and standards put in place by aviation authorities to ensure public safety. The risk acceptor is the public itself since operations is in public interest and under the authority of a publicly governed aviation body.
When the general public do not have direct access to airline tickets and the aviation services are administered by an organization which only allow members or employees, the risk acceptor is the organization itself. This does not imply that the bar of safety is lowered to minimum safety. The difference is that there is a different risk acceptor.
If the only question of aviation safety is if the operation is conforming to legal requirements or not, then safety is taking a turn to the worse. The additional question to be asked of aviation safety, is if there are safe operating processes in place to manage safety. Without a Safety Management System (SMS) tool to for management of operational processes, there is no accountability by the risk acceptor to ensure safety management. The public has implemented an SMS system in the interest of public safety, while some, but not all of the on demeaned air service suppliers have SMS systems in place.
When the question of safe operation takes first place in an organization is the turning point when a risk acceptor has tools available to assess risks and manage operational safety processes.