Global Aviation Safety Plan
The International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO, with its headquarters in Montreal, developed the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) some time ago; its next amendment is due to take effect in 2012.
This GASP represents a common framework for the air transport industry as well as for the authorities to establish understanding and to explain how to implement new international aviation safety standards in a world of global systems.
This GASP includes all affiliated aviation organizations worldwide.
These are regulators, airlines, air navigation providers and aerodromes.
Very much like the IT industry, the air transport sector is developing extremely quickly. International companies already have at their disposal a Safety Management System (SMS), which is part of a quality assurance system (quality system) in order to recognize potential dangers for the company and to take appropriate measures to minimize risks in a sustainable manner. In many sectors of the aviation industry the implementation of an SMS is already a compulsory requirement.
For all ICAO member states in the world, the State Safety Program (SSP) of the national authorities represents the counterpart. In accordance with the GASP of ICAO, this system shall allow in the near future (2015) each member state to maintain and improve safety standards within the field of general and commercial aviation and all related sectors such as aerodromes, airlines, and air navigation providers.
This is where the problem is located. In many states the national authorities have well-developed bureaucratic structures that make it difficult to cope with the increased requirements in the fast growing aviation industry.
Airlines, manufacturers, as well as design and maintenance firms already have integrated SMS systems at their disposal.
Reports from airlines and the aviation industry shall be incorporated in the State Safety Program (SSP) by the national authorities so that appropriate measures may be developed and implemented in the global system.
Authorities will only be able to comply with this requirement if designated aviation experts in these regulatory bodies evaluate these reports accordingly and are in the position to take decisions.
The critical areas of a regulatory body are as follows:
- Operating Regulations
- Organization, SO Functions
- Technical Experts Training
- Guidance, Procedures & Information
- Licensing & Certification Obligations
- Surveillance & Inspections Obligation
- Resolution of Safety Concerns
Therefore, when reports are submitted to an authority it must be ensured that certified experts perform a risk-based evaluation of these reports and derive appropriate measures, which may also have a regulatory character.
On the basis of the GASP of ICAO, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has developed the European Safety Plan (EASP) and intends to implement this plan in all 27 member states by 2015.
On the international and European levels, legal foundations are currently being drafted to enable designated experts to gain access to the authorities so that they may provide support in implementing the State Safety Program.
We always use the label “experts”. Nevertheless, we seriously ask ourselves who we consider an expert, how an individual can become an expert in the aviation industry, and how these experts are to be certified.
With our vision and educational philosophy we endeavour to respond proactively and appropriately to these challenging questions and the new requirements.