100 Years Air Traffic Control


Our safety experts are responsible for developing the GCAA safety management system and also spearheading our State Safety Program.  Safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. 

The objective of a Safety Management System is to provide a structured management approach to control safety risks in operations. Effective safety management must take into account the organisation’s specific structures and processes related to safety of operations. Use of SMS can be generally interpreted as applying a quality management approach to control safety risks. Similar to other management functions, safety management requires planning, organising, communicating and providing direction. The SMS development begins with setting the organisational safety policy. It defines the generic principles upon which the SMS is built and operated.

This first step outlines the strategy for achieving acceptable levels of safety within the organisation. 
Safety planning and the implementation of safety management procedures are the next key steps in the processes designed to mitigate and contain risk in operations. Once these controls are ready, quality management techniques can be utilised to ensure that they achieve the intended objectives and, where they fail, to improve them. This is accomplished by the deployment of safety assurance and evaluation processes which in turn provide for a continuous monitoring of operations and for identifying areas of safety improvement.

Put simply, effective safety management systems use risk and quality management methods to achieve safety goals. In addition, SMS also provides the organisational framework to establish and foster the development of a positive corporate safety culture.
The implementation of an SMS gives the organisation’s management a structured set of tools to meet their responsibilities for safety defined by the regulator.