State Safety Programme

ICAO Audits

In 2009 ICAO requested to all States to implement a Safety Programme, a branching out from an SMS Manual which is acceptable to the Safety Requirements for Operators. This will counteract fundamental weaknesses in the safety programme identified by ICAO audits carried out by Universal State Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) around the globe to contracting States.

Fundamental weaknesses identified

The following are indicators of deficiency within the State’s safety programme which need to be taken into consideration in order to provide a better SSP to improve safety performance of individual national aviation system, hence improve Human Factors within the aviation system.

  • Incomplete or out of date governing legislation and regulations
  • Conflicts of interest among regulators and service providers
  • Inadequate civil aviation infrastructure and systems needed to support safety operations, such as navigational, communicational aids and many more
  • Inconsistency in the regulatory functioning in licensing, surveillance and enforcement due to lack of resources or political situation
  • Shortages in trained and competent personnel, administrative capacity and sophisticated machines
  • Instability and uncertainty within the CAA comprising quality and timeliness of regulatory performance
  • Absence of formal safety programmes; e.g. voluntary incident reporting programme, regulatory safety audits, etc
  • Increase in occurrence rates, weak national safety culture, reluctant to embrace proven practices

Required elements for an SSP

However, the following elements should be incorporated within one’s safety programme for the achievement of continuous improvement to safety within the aviation system;

  • Mechanisms for coordinating and integrating all aspects of the State’s safety programme
  • Monitoring of all safety functioning, such as licensing, certification, enforcement, etc
  • Provision of mandatory occurrence reporting, incident reporting, service difficulty reporting, etc
  • Competent accident and incident investigation capability
  • Active and passive safety promotion programmes to assist operators and to make safety information broadly accessible
  • Risk-based resource allocations for all regulatory functions
  • Regular regulatory safety audits to ensure compliance by all operators and service providers

Effective SSP

The main and most important of establishing an effective SSP within an organisation is for that organisation to cut costs that are likely to incurr as a result of Human errors. Such mistakes can be mitigated and controlled through an effective SSP already in place, since empoyees can proactively identify risks and hazards before truning into catastrophic accidents.

An effective SSP will have the following benefits;

  • improve of morale for employees
  • improve efficiency within the organisation and among employees
  • high motivation to perform better, high productivity
  • increase trusts among employees and amployers as well
  • cut costs, thus higher profitability
1. ICAO (2009). Safety Management Manual(2nd edition). Retrieved from [] on 25th August 2010.

Want to know more?
An excellent site, throroughly explaining the details of how to develop an SSP and what are the important factors to be included within a safety programme that will support a continuous improvement of safety

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