How to Create Your Safety Management System (SMS)

1. Learn about Aviation Safety Management Systems

After gaining top management support for SMS implementation, the first step to starting a new aviation SMS is to educate yourself! Familiarize yourself with basic terms and possess a general sense of what an SMS is before you get started.

This step will save considerable time and energy as it may reduce the number of times required to re-work required elements.

Articles on Fundamentals:

2. Perform a Gap Analysis (super important!)

Once you’ve learned the basics, you should perform a gap analysis to identify:

  • "What you have already to support your SMS;" and
  • "What you need to achieve compliance."

Performing a gap analysis also helps you understand aviation SMS requirements.

Articles about Gap Analysis:

3. Create an Implementation Plan

When your gap analysis is complete, analyze your "gaps" and create your SMS implementation plan. The implementation plan presents the steps and timeline required to implement your SMS.Implementation plans serve as a communication tool to management so your team can see progress to your SMS implementation goals.

Articles on Planning

Download Implementation Plan Checklists

An SMS implementation is a big task that may take several years to implement, especially if you:
  • Lack top management support; or
  • Suffer from a poor safety culture.

Implementing an aviation safety management system  is like eating an elephant. To eat an elephant, you have to perform the task "one-bite-at-a-time."  Likewise, an SMS implementation is performed one step at at time. These SMS implementation checklists will assist you in both implementing a new SMS or reviewing your existing SMS.

SMS Implementation PlanChecklists

Free Download Resources Supporting New Aviation SMS

These selected resources are invaluable in assisting your team to quickly and efficiently implement a new aviation safety management system.

These resources are applicable to:

  • Airlines
  • Airports
  • Aviation Maintenance Organizations
  • ANSP
  • FBOs
  • Flight Schools
  • Smaller flight operations

Download Safety Policy

Duties & Responsibilities of Key Safety Personnel

Free Download Template for Safety Accountabilities

Org Chart

How to Create an Org Chart for Aviation Safety Management Systems

Gap Analysis Checklists

Download Free Gap Analysis Resources