Monday, September 21, 2020



By Catalina9

Travel and exotic destination were affected deeply by the COVID19 virus. Airplanes were parked, airports became ghost towns, and everyone stood up and walked off. Life became a life on the Someday Island. Life in the fast lane became a life of stagnation and procrastination. Airport and airline executives were scrambling to keep operations to a bare minimum. Time went on without any progress being made. Everyone was procrastinating and waiting for the recovery in aviation to lift off like a rocket. But nothing ever happened…

Procrastination is to leave a blank page for someone else to write your story
The aviation industry is experiencing exciting times these days. This is an exiting time since the next page of aviation history is a blank page to be published. Not only are we given a blank page, but we are also given a pencil to fill out the page with whatever we want! This is an opportunity like nothing before, where we can build anything out of the aviation industry. If I remember correctly, the last time it happened was in 1903. We have been given a golden opportunity to get it right this time. Yes, it is true that prior to COVID19 air travel was statistically the safest mode of transportation, wile it is also true that the result of one single accident in air travel caused more harm to the travelling public and their loved ones than any other mode of transportation. These records speak for themselves by all regulatory restrictions that over the years were imposed on airlines and airports. 

Since the first flight of 1903 air travel implemented excellent safety measures after each major accident. The 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision laid the base for modernizing ATC, controlled airspace, and radar. At the time of the crash both aircraft were compliant with the regulation. In 2012 two general aviation aircraft crashed mid-air in the middle of nowhere. Both captains complied with the regulations at the time of the crash. The Tenerife Island March 27, 1977 is still the worst aviation accident in the history of aviation. There are many speculations and two independent reports concluded differently. However, one fact remains, that one crew did everything they could to maintain compliance with the regulatory required flight duty time. After each major accident several great safety measures had been implemented, which generally were technical, mechanical and automation improvements or new regulations. The aviation industry eventually caught on that imposing regulations and improved mechanical and automation advancements were not the only tools to prevent accidents. The next step in the system was to improve the Human Factors System.  This goal became true with ICAO’s mandate of a Safety Management System and with regulatory implementation by each ICAO state. The SMS regulation was different than previous regulations in that it is performance based as opposed to prescriptive. While the prescriptive regulation required 100% compliance 100% of the time. With a 100% / 100% requirement there is no room for safety improvements since the regulation itself ensured 100% safety. The new SMS regulations were based on a 95% confidence level of compliance, which leaves room for improvement. This was unheard of and rejected by many in the aviation industry. 

Procrastination is a learned skill and behavior to take on trivial tasks without directions. Procrastinators are permanent residents of the Someday Island and only get off the island when their leaders demand that they do. Procrastination is by many identified lazy, or bad behavior, while in the real world, procrastinators might contribute more than the go-getters. Procrastinators are followers, they need guidance and support for their opinions. They leave the door wide open for anyone who moved away from the Someday Island to generate a wealth of success. Without the procrastinators, there would be little or no room for a successful business. Procrastinate, or procrastinare, or utsette, means to wait until tomorrow to start on a task. However, tomorrow does not exist and never comes to your rescue. My goal is to help procrastinators to achieve their wishes and dreams in the comfort of their place on the Someday Island. 

After the COVID19 hit, successful business leaders became procrastinators, or possible they were already procrastinators being directed by their leaders. Airlines and airports managers sudden stopped in their tracks. They had arrived at the Fork-In-The-Road and without directions as they had not done their homework and the Fork-In-The-Road Test. 

The COVID19 fork-in-the-road was a surprise with nowhere else to go.
The Fork-In-The-Road test is a tool to identify if current steps in the evaluation process are taking shortcuts and jumping to a conclusion that the new strategy is the correct strategy and it’s a tool for a contingency plan when The-Fork-In-The-Road comes unexpected. A shortcut is an attempt to break the wall in a maze to make it to the end without following the planned path. The Fork-In-The-Road Test is to backtrack the process to find out where in the maze the wall failed and then think in 3D, which is measured in time, space, and compass. When thinking in 3D a future scenario can be designed. This does not imply that the future can be predicted, but it implies that data, information, knowledge, and comprehension are vital steps to predict hazards that affect operational processes.

Procrastination is defined in Pareto’s 80/20 principle. Applying this principle, it is reasonable to expect that 20% of human behavior is the cause of 80% of the result. 20% of pilots may cause 80% of the incidents, 20% of airport operators may cause 80% of unsafe airport operations or 20% of the CEOs may cause 80% of business failures. This is a principle or theory and a tool to initiate actions to draw the first card for recovery in aviation. There is no doubt that COVID19 forever changed the landscape.  

The Safety Management System is a tool for recovery. The ICAO SMS system itself is so brilliantly designed that it blows any other pre-SMS safety systems currently in place. Based on the Pareto principle it is reasonable to expect that 20% of airport and airline operators have embraced SMS and moved away from the Someday Island. 

The next step for recovery at airports and recovery in aviation is to accept that changes has occurred and that they need to move forward in a digital customer appreciation environment. The NextGen of customer appreciation is for airports and airline operators to take on a role in Project Solutions Leadership Motivation. The roles of the Accountable Executive have changed from business management to apply a businesslike approach to the Safety Management System. Both airports and airlines would have experienced a reduction in economic losses if they pre-COVID19 had implemented a businesslike approach to SMS. But rather than focusing on SMS they were running the old-way safety which is extremely expensive. A pre-COVID19 transition to a businesslike approach to SMS would have reduced the impact since SMS operational cost is less than the cost of safety. 

If you don't design Your Amazing Airport or Airline plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.


Friday, September 18, 2020

How Using an SMS and QA Integrator Saves Money!

How Using an SMS/QA Integrator Saves $Money$

Most small companies have accountants, lawyers and human resource people. Usually these small companies can not afford to have these required functions on a full time basis. Their accountant works from an accounting firm and monitors the books and gives advise. The lawyers usually work for a law firm outside the company and are called upon when needed to assist in legal business situations. A lot of companies contract out their Human Resource functions to payroll and other personnel management companies. Let's face it, it is a lot cheaper to hire a payroll or accounting company then to pay a full time accountant with benefits and all the costs that go along with a full time employee sitting at a desk. We have to have these departments because regulations and laws require it. As long as the functions meet all the legal and regulatory requirements, why not "Think outside the box" for ways to streamline and thus reduce the costs of the required functions while still getting the desired results. 

"Why can't we do the same with Safety Management Systems, SMS and Quality Assurance, QA?"

SMS Flow is a complex Process

Safety Management Systems and Quality Assurance are daily and continuous processes. So the questions is;  do we need to have a person sitting in the company to make the SMS and QA work?  We have learned valuable lessons from the great Quality Assurance gurus like Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Dr. Joseph Juran. It is the "Processes" themselves that create, control and produce the desired results for successful outcomes. It is not a single person who is responsible for the Safety or Quality functions that a company strives for, but rather it is the collection of  stakeholders working together within a "system" that produce the desired outcomes. 

So here's the Paradigm!  "We must have a person that is sitting in the company somewhere that is responsible for the SMS and QA function!"

Not so! All the activities of a successful Safety Management System and Quality Assurance System can be easily "Facilitated" remotely. Let me explain "facilitated." 

Everyday Safety reports are generated. The actual reporter and/or designated administrative person enters the report into a "Database" (such as SMS Pro, Vortex...etc.) The SMS Integrator, (who for all intents and purpose acts as the SMS Manager), now takes those reports and facilitates Risk Assessment, Root Cause Analysis and the development of Corrective Action Plans. The SMS Integrator manages the reports in the company's system by convening Safety groups through email, distance conferencing, (i.e. Zoom, MS Teams...etc.) and other Robust communication methods. The SMS Integrator monitors the "Corrective Action Plans" and reports on a continuous bases and reports to the company's management on "Corrective Actions" and "Continuous Improvement" initiatives. 

Daily Monitoring of The SMS remotely

"The key to a successful SMS Integration is based on several important decisions that must be made by the company."

1st. Are the company employees committed to the SMS and QA programs and willing to participate in Safety committees and Quality Circle Groups. 

2nd. Is the upper management of the company committed to supporting the SMS and QA system. 

3rd. You must contract an SMS Integrator that has the knowledge, skills and ability to manage a successful SMS and QA Program. The Integrator company must have "Profound" knowledge of SMS and QA Regulations and be able to conduct effective training to company personnel. The SMS Integrator must have knowledge of the operation, procedures and responsibilities of the company's local regulator personnel. The SMS Integrator must have communication skills to interface management initiative with the SMS and QA program. When management seeks change, the SMS Integrator must be able to conduct "Management of Change" processes to facilitate any changes with company personnel and processes. They need to produce "Safety Cases" and brief the company's management and personnel on the risks induced by the proposed changes and come up with mitigating measures. 

The Integrator is THE SMS Manager

The SMS Integrator can also monitor and maintain the company's Hazard Register to help management come up with Goals and Objectives from the Safety Risk Profile that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. The SMS Integrator also monitors the Hazard Register for Trending and reports appropriate data to management and then facilitates the corrective actions needed. 

The SMS Integrator would be responsible for the company's robust Audit program. The SMS Integrator would conduct SMS and QA Audit training to certify company personnel to perform Audits. In addition, all SMS and QA training would be conducted by the Integrator thus saving money in hiring "outside" training organizations. 


Since the company does not have to have a full time SMS and/or QA manager, a company can save on salary and benefits associated with these positions. In most cases anywhere from 50 to 150 thousand dollars. Because the SMS Integrator has daily communication and contact with the company, the company would have to designate an "Administrative" person to be the hands and feet of the Integrator at the physical building as needed. An Integrator liaison would be only a portion of the administrative person's responsibilities and therefore the cost factor is significantly lower as compared to hiring a full time SMS or QA Manager. In most cases, the cost of contracting with an SMS Integrator is about 10-20% of the cost of hiring managers for these positions. 

The SMS Integrator will also be responsible to the company's regulators when it comes to regulatory Assessment, Process Validations and Process Inspections. Since the SMS Integrator is responsible, any Corrective Actions required by the regulator is the responsibility of the SMS Integrator to facilitate in the company. The company would not have to hire a consultant to help develop CAPs and other Actions. This is tremendous saving of thousands of dollars. 

You do NOT have to purchase new or expensive SMS Software. The SMS Integrator will use your existing SMS Database no matter which one it is.  The company will simple add the SMS Integrator to the user list in order to see reports and data. This is also a significant savings. Even if you do not have or want to stop paying for SMS Software, the SMS Integrator will be able to work a system of reporting and monitoring that would replace SMS Software at very little or in most cases no additional cost. 

The Cost Savings are Significant!!

What about the Regulations?

There is no regulation stating the requirements for the position only the requirement for the SMS System. The fact is that several enterprises are already using an SMS Integrator with the regulator's blessing.  If needed, the actual SMS Integrator will physically come to the company in the circumstance of a regulatory audit if the company so desires. 

The SMS Integrator takes the place of the SMS Manager!


October 20 12pm

By Dennis Taboada, M.eng.,CQE,CQM


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Aviation Recovery

 Aviation Recovery

The 200th Post from Catalina9! 

Aviation recovery is on a path to the fork-in-the road, where one single decision could be the determining factor of recovery success or failure. The downturn in aviation came as a shock to executives and decisionmakers in both airlines and airports. Life in the aviation-line was good and daily operations was extremely successful by their own standards and assessments. By their own success from the past, airports and airline executives was protected from making emotionally difficult operational decisions. When COVID-19 hit, everything they knew about decision-making disappeared. Their inability to react positively to the downturn is the greatest example of how both airlines and airports had swept their Safety Management System (SMS) under the rug. The first day of the pandemic an airport or airline with a successful SMS would have picked up their pre-designed Safety Case or Change Management plan for actions to move forward. Or, at a minimum, they would have initiated a Change Management plan at that time.

An empty airport is a hazard to aviation.

 Both airlines and airport   executives did what they   how to do the best. They   reduced their operational   personnel to a minimum.   This step, among other   steps, were necessary   reactive processes due to   the approaching economic   situation. A successful SMS   would not have prevented   these reactions, but a   successful SMS was at that   moment the tool for           executives to apply and initiate recovery steps. Procrastination is an enemy of success.


A Safety Management System is not the magic wand to eliminate changes or hazards. However, it is the greatest tool for recovery in aviation. This is the time for airports and airlines executives to embrace their losses and move forward with their digital recovery. The path to success in recovery is to take on the KWINK challenge, Knowing What I Now Know. It is known that success was achieve in the past and it’s known that this success failed tremendously. When conducting a risk assessment for moving forward while knowing the outcome of the past, the path that lead to success in the past must be changed. The purpose of a risk assessment is not just to momentarily avoid hazards and reduce risks, but also to design a Project Solution Leadership Motivation plan to action when success fails.


A standard risk assessment does not do the job for the multiple risk assessments that must be done for recovery in aviation. A standard risk assessment defines losses while it eliminates the hazards of success. Several years ago, I developed a risk matrix for both success and failures. A systematically failed risk assessment process is one where times between intervals of failures are methodical, planned, and dependable, without defining the operational system or processes involved. A prerequisite for airports or airlines recovery process is to review risk assessments of the past for failure or success. If the outcome was as expected by the risk assessment it was successful, but if the outcome failed, then the risk assessment process failed. If, for some reason, a risk assessment of hazard or incident reports were not conducted, the risk assessment is assumed to have failed. In Canada, since the SMS was implemented for airlines in 2006 and airports in 2009, there should be a wealth of data to review for recovery.


The aviation industry will look totally different tomorrow that how it was yesterday. Airport terminals designed yesterday was designed to meet the needs of the airport itself and not the travelling public. Airside personnel responsibilities today are regulatory compliance and compliance with SMS policies. Their responsibilities are not linked to aircraft movement or passenger counts, but to the static regulatory environment. Airline personnel, including pilots, mechanics and customer service representative responsibilities are the combination of static regulatory and variable customer service tasks. When accounting for time away from these responsibilities all personnel require retraining before returning to operations. A major change in the aviation industry since yesterday is that yesterday’s operations got away with regulatory requirements only, while operations today must cater to customers expectations. What the aviation industry had missed, both airlines and airports, when the COVID hit, was to have a prepared answer the question raised several times: “Why does the Global Aviation Industry, being Airlines or Airports, need a Safety Management System (SMS) today, when they were safe yesterday without an SMS?”

Different approach equals different outcome.

Operations will never be the same for airlines or airports. When the world stopped, the aviation industry took a downturn. The only way for Your Amazing Airport or Amazing Airline to succeed is to embrace the new digital world. We all like to see the good old days come back, but our wishes are irrelevant to what's happening. We need to service our customer's primary needs. While they love to travel and fly to exotic destinations, their worries are how their trip will be interrupted by other events. Imagine how stressful it is for your friends who are restricted, uncomfortable, and restrained to their seat in an airplane that has not moved for hours because it's parked. The ability to set and achieve a goal through systematic focus and accomplishment is the most powerful way to turn your dreams and visions into reality.


A successful recovery is to embrace public opinion and social media since they are telling you what they expect of Your Amazing Airline or Airport and what you need to know. Social media posts are being pushed aside by experts as being untrue or irrelevant to operations. Over the years I have written about this systematic customer service failure. Our goal is to provide exceptional and unconditional service to customers from a point of view of the travelling public. The recovery is to listen to our customers, and they are there on social media. Digital Recovery is the key factor to Celebrate Your Success.




Friday, August 21, 2020

Take On The AZR Challenge

Take On The AZR Challenge 

By Catalina9

Airport Operators in Canada are avoiding the AZR challenge and taking on a gambling position to protect their capital investment. An aerodrome without an AZR is to sign a blank check to the local landuse authority. Your Amazing Airport is taking the path of least resistance but also the path of greatest failure. Airport Zoning Regulations (AZR) is a unique program for Canadian airports to protect their capital investment. An aerodrome in Canada is any area of land, water, ice or other supporting surface used, designed, prepared, equipped or set apart for use for the arrival, departure, movement or servicing of aircraft and includes any buildings, installations and equipment. In short, all of Canada is an aerodrome. An airport is an aerodrome with a certificate of certification. Certification of an aerodrome is required for operations of scheduled air service, if the aerodrome is within a built-up area, or if it is in the public interest that the aerodrome is certified.

NOTE: It is always in the public interest that an aerodrome is certified.  

Once upon a time there was an airport…
For an aerodrome to be certified it must pass a test. Just as a pilot must pass a test for a pilot license, an aircraft mechanic must pass a test to conduct aircraft maintenance and most of us passed a test for a driver license. The test an aerodrome must pass is the TP312 5th Edition test. It’s a comprehensive test. The TP312 test is not given to a person or an entity, but to the parcel of land itself. There are conditions for when an aerodrome is obligated be certified, but there are no conditions under which an aerodrome may be excused from certification. The regulator may oppose certification of your airfield if it is a private member field, is located in a rural area, or there is lack of business at your field. This year, it is 11 years ago since an aerodrome submitted to the Regulator an application for certification. The airfield passed the TP312 test, but the Regulator refused to issue a certificate due to lack of business at the aerodrome. An aerodrome without a certificate and the AZR could in the blink of an eye be reduced to a drone-field by construction of aeronautical obstructions in the vicinity of Your Amazing Airport.

There are no conditions under which an aerodrome is excused from being certified. However, there are conditions under which certain behaviors are unsuitable for a person to be the Certificate Holder or Airport Operator. The tasks a person, as a certificate holder or airport operator is required to perform to maintain their position are to design and maintain the Airport Operation Manual, maintain the Standards of TP312 5th Edition and maintain the Safety Management System.


A Regulator requires Operational Control of an Aviation Document, or Certificate. Pilots maintains operational control of their certificate by training and medical certificates, an airline maintains operational control of their flight crew qualifications and aircraft maintenance. Just as an aircraft certificate is dependent of the aircraft operator, an airport certificate is heavily dependent on the operator. The difference is that an aircraft is moving all the times, while an airport is stationary. The Regulator expects operational control of all aviation documents, not just for pilots and airline operators, but also of airport operators. Operational control of an airport certificate is very different, since the certificate is issued to a static parcel of land. Operational control of an Airport Certificate is achieved by the Airport Zoning Regulations.


Some years ago, a finding was issued to an airport operator because a tower was built about 3 SM away from the airport. The tower penetrated the airports’ OLS and therefore became a hazard to aviation safety. Pursuant to the SMS regulations, an airport operator has based its safety management system on the safety policy and that there is a clear commitment to safety. Without an AZR in place, there is no clear commitment to safety since the airport operator does not have a tool to remove aeronautical obstructions that are hazardous to aviation. Should a structure be erected and penetrate an approach surface, the only option available to the airport is to shorten the runway. Making a runway shorter must be approved in the Airport Operations Manual and it is known that an approval may take 3-6 months. Without an AZR, an airport operator is operating outside the parameters of public interest and safety in aviation. An AZR is established to prevent lands adjacent to or in the vicinity of an airport from being used or developed in a manner that is incompatible with the safe operation of an airport or aircraft.

Without AZR the only way out is to move backwards for safety

Without an AZR in place an airport operator finds themselves between a rock and a hard place for compliance with the Safety Management Regulations. The regulations requires that there is a process for identifying hazards to aviation safety and for evaluating and managing the associated risks, that there is a process for ensuring that personnel are trained and competent to perform their duties and that there is a process for the internal reporting and analyzing of hazards, incidents and accidents and for taking corrective actions to prevent their recurrence.


"Let’s take a closer look at these three regulatory requirements as it relates to the TP312 5th Airport Certificate and required tasks by the Airport Operator."


The first requirement is that there is a process for identifying hazards to aviation safety and for evaluating and managing the associated risks. Intent is not a hazard to aviation safety. That someone intend to build a tower on short final at Your Amazing Airport is not a hazard to aviation safety itself, since there is no structure intruding on the approach surface. Under these conditions, and without an AZR, an airport operator or the Regulator has no rights to demand that a private citizen do not erect the structure. Since the structure is not erected, an airport operator does not have in place a process to identify hazards to aviation or to evaluate and manage the risks. A plan or proposal is not a hazard to aviation safety and does not become a hazard until the moment the structure penetrate an approach surface established pursuant to TP312 5th. The only option the operator has is to displace the threshold and shorten the runway. The Regulator has only one option, which is to issue a finding to the airport operator for not maintaining the Standards of TP312. A well-known public airport event is the Chatham silo.


The second requirement is that there is that there is a process for ensuring that personnel are trained and competent to perform their duties. Unless there is an AZR in place, airport personnel are without an option to be trained in obstacle management beyond the airport property and without the ability to affect the outcome of the plan.


The third requirement is that there is a process for the internal reporting and analyzing of hazards, incidents and accidents and for taking corrective actions to prevent their recurrence. Imagine for a minute a hazard report stating the following: “The Town is planning to build a 500-foot wind turbine 1 SM away from Your Amazing Airport inline with the approach path. When built, the wind turbine will penetrate the approach surface.”  

The one question Your Amazing Airport needs to ask and come up with an answer, is what to do about the hazard. In the case of this report, the airport operator does not have one single tool to stop or prevent the construction of the wind turbine. The only option is to close the runway. 


Operational control at an airport is not to manage pilots or aircraft, but to mange the integrity of the certificate and TP312 5th Standards. The only tool is the Airport Zoning Regulations.





Monday, August 10, 2020

You Are The President of Your Amazing SMS

 You Are The President of Your Amazing SMS

By Catalina9 

The Safety Management System (SMS) of today has still several hurtles to overcome and become the irrefutable aviation safety system of tomorrow. SMS is so different from any other quality assurance systems in that the system takes into account human factors, human performance and job performance as it relates to safety critical areas and safety critical functions. Airports and airlines will always have the option to chose between mediocrity or excellence in SMS. An SMS that chose excellence are operating with successful people in all their positions.

SMS Tomorrow is balanced with directions.

SMS Tomorrow is preparing for excellence tomorrow. People in SMS positions comprehend the fact that SMS is a system of incremental improvements and how their excellence today is a catalyzer for excellence tomorrow. Successful people are the successful SMS Tomorrow. A successful SMS are people who see themselves capable of being the best and see themselves with the capacity of being really good at what they do. People of an excellent SMS see themselves as a contribution for an airport or airline that deserve the best.


People of an excellent SMS are courageous. Successful people in an excellent SMS Tomorrow work to confront the fears that hold most people back. The two biggest enemies to success are fear and doubt. The single purpose of the Non-Punitive Reporting Policy at Your Amazing Airport or Airline is to overcome the fear of failure and doubting your own opinions and skills. By doing something repeatedly a habit is developed and by making a habit of submitting SMS reports you fear doing, your fear of failure will certainly be eliminated. The ability to confront your fear is the mark of superior skills. When you have high ambition and you decide to be at the top, confront your fears and do the things that are holding you back, those two things alone will make you a great contribution to SMS Tomorrow. It is the people at all levels of the SMS who builds an SMS of excellence.

You are the President of Your Amazing Destination Corporation.
 The people of SMS Excellence are completely committed to their cause. They believe in themselves; they believe in their SMS and they believe in their customers. When a successful person absolutely believes in their definite purpose, every action becomes a catalyst for SMS Tomorrow. Every person of a successful SMS creates incremental steps of safety enthusiasm.

A successful SMS is the result of people who review every detail in advance, who makes decisions based on result rather than fear of failure and they strive to be exceptional and outstanding in what they do. Before they go into an SMS meeting or Management Review they are prepared. Before they give an SMS speech, they validate data, research information, express their knowledge transfers comprehension to their audience. A successful SMS is proud of its results.


Every person of an SMS Tomorrow and an SMS of Excellence is a leader. Any person is the leader of their own destination in a hierarchy of leaders. Within an SMS of Excellence every person is in essence self-employed and the President of My Amazing Corporation. In an SMS, we are the Safety Management System. The SMS is not the Accountable Executive, Quality Assurance Director or SMS Director, but the SMS is You. You are the one constant within SMS Tomorrow that can make a difference. The most liberating and exhilarating thought of all, to think, to realize, is that you are the President of Your Amazing SMS.




Monday, July 27, 2020

SMS Tomorrow

SMS Tomorrow
By Catalina9

When Canada, as the first ICAO State, implemented the Safety Management System (SMS) a prediction was that it would take several years to mature. After several years it has still not matured to its full potential. The SMS in itself cannot fail since its purpose is to paint a true picture of an enterprise. What can fail is accountability by the regulator and enterprise leaders.

The first step of SMS Tomorrow began yesterday
Today, the regulator has taken on a role as both a paying customer and a regulatory oversight body. In addition, the regulator is micromanaging smaller businesses to a degree that is detrimental to safety by failing operators for grammatical errors or demanding to be the decision maker in business solutions. Senior mangers in airport operations are accepting the regulator’s involvements without questioning the effect it has on their operations. What is being overlooked is that a functional SMS conforms to regulatory requirement and the regulator is conducting regulatory oversight, while the paying customers are exercising their privilege to audit an enterprise for safety. A successful SMS operates with both a regulatory component and a safety component. What is crucial to operations is that these two bodies are independent of the enterprise and independent of each other.

SMS tomorrow will be different than what it is today. A future SMS enters into a commitment agreement with the flying public, the regulator, airports and airlines to only accept nothing less than excellence in operational processes. Excellence is not to be perfect and live in a virtual, or fantasy world. Excellence is incremental improvements of safety processes. SMS is not to show that we always get everything right, but to build a portfolio of safety. A fully potential SMS operates with a businesslike approach to safety.  

The fork in the road became an obstacle and not a path of incremental improvements
In essence, since the first phase of SMS implementation, it has followed the five stages of grief. First there was denial that SMS was a highly improved system to manage safety over other systems. Conventional wisdom in the aviation industry was that aviation had reached its maximum safety potential and that SMS could not improve safety. It was not accepted by the regulator or the public that SMS would outrun any other safety systems. Leaders, managers and other personnel felt hurt and in their own mind viewed their prior safety actions as failures. Then comes the anger. During the first few year of SMS, inspector and operators were angry and for every accident an SMS blame-factor was included. It went so far that professional SMS surveys set the SMS up to fail and they were skewed to paint a failing picture of the SMS. After that came the bargaining stage. On-demand and smaller carriers were negotiated by the aviation industry to be excluded from SMS regulatory requirement. The fourth step of the grief stages is depression. After operators made several honest attempts to address safety, the regulator overwhelmed them with findings, including unreasonable findings. Every operator, both airlines and airports became unhappy with their own operations and the regulator’s unfair approach. Operators subsumed to the pressure and accepted the checkbox syndrome as their solution. The checkbox syndrome is when the most important task in the SMS is to ensure that their checkboxes are checked to please the regulator. The final step is acceptance and we are not there yet. Acceptance is accountability and is to accept that we do not currently fully comprehend SMS. Only when SMS is accepted as a supreme system to any other known safety systems, and when accepted as a businesslike approach to safety is when is it moving towards its full potential. When safety becomes paramount, as opposed to the-number-one-priority, is when SMS is on an incremental path to reach its full potential.

Operators can choose between Excellence or Mediocrity. Picking mediocrity as a goal is the path of least resistance and the easy way out. If noting, or when very little is expected it’s impossible to lose. When operating without expectations nobody is at fault when things go wring. Fear of failure is the leading cause to avoid setting challenging goals. When we fail, we wonder what everyone else will think of us and how the failure will affect our future. We start worrying about missing out on future opportunities. If we avoid accepting opportunities, we save face and it can be backed up with that we tried. An old saying is that when we fail to plan, we plan to fail. 

Aviation safety was built on failures. Every improvement of safety was designed from failures and major accidents. What a functional SMS does is to move failures from physical harm to failures on the drawing board. When tests fails on the drawing board the aviation industry saves the world from a whole lot of grief.

SMS is the North Star of an Enterprise. Accountable Executive is the compass.
SMS tomorrow is when customers conduct safety audits of the operations and the regulator only inspects for regulatory compliance. A customer safety audit is based on real-time discoveries of operations and customers confidence level. A customer confidence level is a person’s opinion in real-time. This is the only time when opinions are introduced into the SMS as facts. In addition, it is just as important to know that this is not a social-media opinion, it is not a cloud-based survey opinion or a written opinion, but an emotion shared in real-time by that person. An SMS in its full potential is when customer service is the priority and safety is paramount.     

An inspection is a snapshot in time at the time of inspection. A regulatory inspection is not a movie or taping of events, but a snapshot picture at that time. An item in compliance at one time could be in non-compliance a few minutes later. Regulatory compliance is not a guarantee for safety in operations. On the other hand, when a customer conducts safety audits, they are not bound by regulatory requirements but by their confidence level of safety in operations. A finding becomes what in their opinion is a finding. A successful SMS is design as being viewed by their customers. The airport or airline best suited to service their customers needs gets the sale.

It is only people who can make an SMS work as it should and paint a likable picture of an enterprise. Automation and cloud-based SMS programs are exceptional and excellent tools to achieve goals and objectives. However, when these tools become a definite major purpose, operational control of servicing people is lost. If an operator really wants the SMS to paint a presentable picture of the organization, it is crucial for success that they treat SMS like a million dollars. A successful customer service SMS comes with oversight and a quality control element in every process.

A successful SMS tomorrow understand what customers want. The most important part of an SMS is to comprehend the needs of customer and find a way satisfy their wishes. An SMS that focuses on customer service and how a product or service can meet their needs is much more successful than an SMS in compliance with the regulatory checkbox system. Design your SMS Tomorrow as a personal SMS where your customers feel have confidence in you as a person and that they feel comfortable and protected from harm. Both airports and airlines are in the business of caring for memories and sentimental values. Be of a value to the customer by helping, guiding and assist in every single process designed. A well-organized SMS includes a Daily Rundown and Quality Control systems as a prerequisite for Quality Assurance. A successful SMS is Project Solutions Leadership Motivation. 

Without a clear comprehension SMS Tomorrow is hidden in plain view
Vision of tomorrow’s SMS when you are servicing your customers rather than providing a service from a regulatory point of view. An SMS tomorrow is when there is trust, learning, accountability and information sharing between an enterprise and the people they are servicing.
Tomorrow, when you sit down and looking back at yesterday, you will find an SMS where the regulator conducted regulatory oversight and the people our enterprise was servicing conducted safety in operations audits. In an SMS tomorrow we do not manage risks, but we lead personnel, manage equipment and validate operational design for incremental performance above a safety risk level bar established by our customers.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Building A Winning SMS Team

Building A Winning SMS Team
By Catalina9

Building a winning Safety Management System (SMS)team is beyond extreme hard work which starts with the Accountable Executive (AE). When the regulator performs SMS assessments of enterprises, the AE is the last person on their list to interview and the questions are simple overarching questions and policy questions. The AE should be interviewed first with the most difficult questions to answer. The SMS Manager is the person who is grilled by the regulator and expected to comprehend the Safety Management System. In addition, pilots and airline ground crews, and airport airside personnel are expected to recall tasks and SMS expectations beyond their operational requirements. By applying this philosophy, the regulator has an approach to SMS assessment to ensure regulatory compliance at the top level but is deterrent to aviation safety. This approach is neither good nor bad, since the regulator’s mandate is regulatory oversight which is different than operational oversight and control. An inspector’s role is to inspect for compliance only. Compliance is defined as the state of meeting regulatory requirements, the state defined as the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time. Regulations are independent of safety since they are applicable to a static environment. 

A Winning SMS Team is defined by its strategies
The AE of an airline or airport has a task that may contradict regulatory requirement in that their mandate is to build a Winning SMS Team of processes that conforms to regulatory requirements. If a process conforms to regulatory requirements is not known until after it has been tested. Design of a particular process may be built with a compliance intent, while the outcome of the intent is not known util the operations of the process loop is closed, e.g. from the time an airline leaves the gate for departure until it arrives at the gate at its destination. Within this time-frame, which could be between ½ hour to 15 hours, there are several forces of special cause variations acting on both the airline and airport contributing to non-compliance.

An Accountable Executive takes on a humongous and conglomerate task to proactively mitigate special cause variations. Special cause variations come in a 3D format of time (travel), space (geo-location) and compass (direction). The fall of both airlines and airports after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic is one example of how airlines and airports had ignored building a Winning SMS Team. While it’s true that they could not affect how the virus developed, they had full control over how they applied their operations in servicing their customers. Newspapers are reporting that airlines are back in business with 100% capacity. If there were one lesson airlines would have learned with a Winning SMS Team is that passenger seats need to be spaced similar to how they are spaced in a car. As a preventative tool for the next pandemic airplane seats should be separated 1-meter center to center between passengers. Airports would have learned that they are not in the business of processing, manipulating and storing passengers, but that they are in the business of caring for memories and sentimental values. However, and as always, when there is a conflict between safety and short-thinking cash, safety is the loosing partner.

The regulatory requirement to serve as an Accountable Executive is that the person has control of the financial and human resources that are necessary for the activities and operations authorized under the certificate. Accountability is; without supervision, to comply with regulatory requirements, standards, policies, recommendations, job descriptions, expectations or intent of job performance and for personnel to be actively and independently involved. An Accountable Executive is expected to work with a Winning SMS Team. Conduct a survey within your own enterprise and learn that every single person in your organization, customers, vendors and contractors expect that you operate with a Winning SMS Team.

Objectives and goals are crucial to build a Winning SMS Team. In addition, it is crucial for success that all personnel are actively involved, which includes the Accountable Executive. The accountability, interest and ownership an AE takes in their SMS is gauged by how many hazard reports the AE submits. There are seventeen principles to build a Winning SMS Team and it’s solely on the shoulders of the AE and Confidential Advisor to the AE to design, implement and monitor these principles.

Mastermind Alliance is to work in perfect harmony
The first principle is to design a Definiteness of Purpose. This is the first principle of all achievements. Without this principle an enterprise is a Titanic approaching unknown icebergs, or pandemics.

The second principle is to design a Mastermind Alliance, which is when minds are working in perfect harmony for the attainment of objectives. A successful Accountable Executive is dependent on a Mastermind Alliance towards a common objective and attainable goals. 

The third principle is Applied Faith. Faith is to harness comprehension of the Safety Management System. Comprehension comes from data, which is turned into information and knowledge. With knowledge systems are comprehended for the AE to move forward with Applied Faith. 

The fourth principle is Going the Extra Mile, which is to render more and better service to personnel, vendors and contractors than what they expect. Helping others to solve their problems will help solving your own. Nature is neutral to problems which will find their way around any obstacle to show up in one form or another. 

The fifth principle is a Pleasing Personality, which is the aggregate of all the agreeable, gratifying and likable qualities of any one individual. The attitude you transmit to others will tell you more about yourself the word you say, how well they are written or how you look. If there are problems within your enterprise, take a look in the mirror to find the root cause. 

The sixth principle is Personal Initiative. It is crucial for success of your position as the Accountable Executive that personnel are allowed to take personal initiatives within their roles and involvement in the SMS. Personal initiative is the inner power that starts all actions. Personal initiative is self-motivation. An AE micromanaging their organization find it extremely difficult to work with self-motivated people. 

The seventh principle is a Positive Attitude, which is the means by which the AE can balance their life and relationship to people and circumstances. Everyone is born with initiative and a positive attitude. Negative attitudes are learned and fostered by daily acceptance that all negatives are true. The saying “watch what you wish for” comes true with both a positive and negative attitude. Excellence or Mediocrity is your choice as the AE.   
The eight principle is Enthusiasm, which inspires actions and is the most contagious of all emotions. Enthusiasm is the energy of your SMS. Enthusiasm is not to be smiling and happy all day long, but to have faith in your own capabilities and comprehension of your job performance. A person with enthusiasm transmits confidence to others. 

The ninth principle is Self-Discipline, which is to take control of your own mind. The power of thought is the only thing over which any human being has complete, unquestionable control. Self-discipline is a prerequisite for success.

The tenth principle is Accurate Thinking. Accurate thought involves two fundamentals. First, you, as the Accountable Executive or other organizational personnel, must separate facts from mere information or unverified postings. Second, facts must be separated into two classes: The important and the unimportant. By the habit of doing this is accurate thinking achieved.   

The eleventh principle is Controlled Attention, which is the act of coordinating all the faculties of the mind and directing their combined power to a given end. Keep your mind on the tings you want and off the things you don’t want. 

The twelfth principle is Teamwork, which is the willing cooperation and coordination of effort to achieve a common goal. Teamwork difference from the Mastermind principle in that it’s based on coordination of effort without necessarily embracing the principle of Definiteness of Purpose or the purpose of absolute harmony. 

The thirteenth principle is Adversity and Defeat. Every adversity you meet, as the AE or any other role within the organization, carries with it a seed of equivalent or grater benefit. Every problem has a solution and you have to find it. If you can look at problems as a temporary setback and stepping-stones to success, you will come to believe that the only limitations you have are the ones in your own mind. 

The fourteenth principle is Creative Vision, which is a quality of mind to follow the habit of going the extra mile with the highest aim to do what others say is impossible. 

An Accountable Executive has the power of choice to make a Winning SMS Team.

The fifteenth principle is Maintenance of Sound Health, which is to follow work with play, mental activity with physical activity and seriousness with humor.   
The sixteenth principle is Budgeting Time and Money. A successful SMS budgets and protects time spent on SMS activities in the same manner as cash spent on time. A healthy SMS is not to spend cash every time someone throws out the safety-card. A healthy SMS is budgeting time, cash and return on investment. 

The seventeenth principle is Cosmic Habitforce is the power of choice which is established by thought and behavior patterns. 

The Safety Management System at Your Amazing Airport or Airline has already made a choice between Excellence or Mediocrity. Change is if you must, or move forward with confidence. 


Friday, June 26, 2020

The 14-Day Goal Setting Challenge

The 14-Day Goal Setting Challenge
By Catalina9

The Accountable Executive (AE) at your amazing Airport or Airline has broader powers given to them by the Safety Management System (SMS) Regulations than what is required of them to make sound business decisions as the CEO. However, the AE’s ultimate powers are limited to the operational comprehension levels of  aviation safety inspectors or auditors. Decision powers are not limited in scope, but in options, availability, flexibility and applicability to size and complexity. Operating a successful SMS under these conditions becomes a challenge for the AE to balance the field length with sound business judgments.

A Safety Management System is your goal setting plan.
Conventional wisdom of a process it that what comes out of a process is equal to the quality of inputs. However, within an SMS organization the outcome of processes is strongly depends on special cause variables as inputs, or also defined as human factors, organizational factors, supervision factors or environmental factors. Mitigation of these factors are achieved by goal setting plans and achievement. 

The last blog was about goal setting. Now is the time to put your goals into work by taking on the 14-day goal setting challenge. If you ask what this has to do with SMS you are on the right track since SMS is all about goal setting and goal achievement. Goal setting is also a regulatory and SMS policy requirement. The difference between required goal settings and the 14-goal setting challenge is that this challenge is about you and your Amazing Airport or Airline. All other goals you have are made up by someone else. But why wait for someone to bail you out, when you have more powers within yourself than anyone else for a successful goal achievement plan.

Outputs of a process is a product of multiple inputs.
SMS is hard work, goal setting is extreme hard work, while goal achievement is beyond extreme hard work. The toughest part about goal setting is to do it. The path of least resistance is to leave goal setting alone today and pick it up at a later date. It’s also easier to wait for someone else to take charge, make your goals and move on without commitment. Fear of failure and commitments is of the highest contributing factors to avoid commitment and goal planning. There is an inside fear that if you don’t make it you will be disappointed. Your inside voice is right that you will be very, or beyond extreme disappointed if you don’t make it. On the other hand, if you don’t start the 14-day goal setting challenge, everyone else will be very disappointed. When the purpose of your Amazing Airport or Airline is to serve, there are no other options available but to jump in with both feet and work hard towards your goals.

The 14-day goal setting challenge is just a few simple steps daily for the next 14 days.
Day 1 - Think about your Amazing Airport or Airline as it is now and write down the things that are most important to you in your life for successful operations.
Day 2 - Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and make your Amazing Airport or Airline as perfect in each area of your life for successful operations. Imagine what would it look like.
Day 3 - Using your imaginations from yesterday, write down each goal you would like to achieve for your ideal Amazing Airport or Airline. Make your description clear and detailed in every sense. Use a pencil and paper when writing your goals.
Day 4 - Decide upon your major definite purpose for your Amazing Airport or Airline. Ask yourself what you would do if you could achieve any goal on this list within 24 hours, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on your life for successful operations.
Day 5 - Set A Deadline and think of a reasonable date for you to achieve
your goal for Your Amazing Airport or Airline. If your goal is includes multiple areas of operations, set sub-deadlines for each building block.
Day 6 - Identify obstacles, interference, restrictions, snags and obstructions you need to overcome to achieve your goal for your Amazing Airport or Airline. Determine how to overcome each one of the snags

The day you are confident that you have all knowledge you have nothing.
Day 7 – Identify knowledge and skills you’ll need that would help. Decide on what one skill, if you developed and did it consistently, in an excellent fashion, would help you the most to achieve your number one goal for your Amazing Airport or Airline. Decide on who is the Confidential Advisor to the Accountable Executive. 
Day 8 - Make a list of everything, including each and every step you will have to do to achieve your goal.
Day 9 - Organize your list into a plan and organize your list into a series of steps
from the beginning all the way through to the completion of your goal. As the Accountable Executive design your own process flowchart for your goal. 
Day 10 - Write your plan down in an agenda and write down each phase of your plan in your agenda all the way through completion of your goal. Plan each day,
week and month in advance.
Day 11 - Determine your support system and make a list of every person that you work with to achieve your goal at your Amazing Airport or Airline. 
Day 12 - Make your goal public. Tell everyone what you want to achieve. As the Accountable Executive communicate your goals to all personnel. 
Day 13 – Practice visualization of your goal for your Amazing Airport or Airline. Create clear, vivid, exciting, emotional pictures of your goals as if they were already a reality.
Day 14 - Do your first task.  The hardest part is starting. On the last day of the challenge, complete the first that you outlined for yourself and get started on the path to success for your Amazing Airport or Airline. 

A goal setting challenge prepares you for the tasks ahead, the obstacles you will face and the stamina you need to withstand any opposition. SMS is hard work and there is always only one person who makes the final decision and that person may as well be you as the Accountable Executive for your Amazing Airport. 



Procrastination By Catalina9 T ravel and exotic destination were affected deeply by the COVID19 virus. Airplanes were parked, airports becam...