Why do we need to implement SMS in EASA Part-145 approved organisations?
EASA wants to further improve the level of safety with respect to EASA Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organizations. The principles of safety management as indicated in the ICAO Annex 19 SARP’s will be fostered and the procedures for oversight and enforcement will be streamlined.
The safety risks introduced by the aviation industry must result in an Acceptable Level of Safety (or ALoS). Acceptable level means as long as safety risks and operational errors are kept under a reasonable degree of control, a system as open and dynamic as commercial civil aviation is considered to be safe. In other words, safety risks and operational errors that are controlled to a reasonable degree are acceptable in an inherently safe system.
The EASA system establishes at legislative level the safety objectives to be met by means of essential requirements. These requirements have been designed to mitigate any probable risk linked to civil aviation activities within the scope of the EASA system. These mitigating means will be further detailed in appropriate Part-145 Implementing Rules (IR), Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM).
So why do we need to implement SMS, besides complying with the EASA regulations?
Because, besides achieving Improved Safety, it will also result in Continuous Improvement of operational processes and Repetitive Common Cause Accidents will essentially be eliminated.
This can only be achieved when EASA Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organizations move from a reactive to a proactive and predictive approach towards safety risks.
Implementation of SMS also has financial benefits. Besides cost reduction and cost avoidance, it will also result in a reduction of the direct and indirect costs of accidents, incident investigation and operational disruptions.
And finally, implementing an effective SMS, will provide EASA Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organizations with a competitive benefit. That is as mentioned before because of the financial benefits, but also because a well matured SMS will result in establishing a marketable safety record.