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Time for a safety refresh

Following the latest EASA mandate, David Young, aviation customer services consultant at Ideagen, looks at its implications for business aviation and asks if it is time to take a fresh look at your organization.

 

The aviation industry is constantly evolving, driven by the pursuit of both improvements in safety and increased efficiencies across all sectors. As we know, European aviation is highly regulated and EU Regulation 376/2014, which became effective in November 2015, shows the industry is relentless in its pursuit of safety excellence.

EU Regulation 376/2014 unifies and consolidates the continuous collection of safety data; it facilitates wider analysis, the earlier identification of hazards, shared learning and, consequently, the necessary oversight required to follow up on or share mitigating actions, revisions or corrections. But what about the effort needed by individuals and departments in meeting the requirements of this EASA update?

As a former employee within the airline industry, and with over 20 years of experience, I know only too well how much time and resource is needed and how the relative scale of your operation can affect the workload of individuals tasked with collating, reporting, assessing and acting wherever compliance demands.

To date, it really has been a case of us all sharing our learnings and understandings, and helping each other deliver the required reporting which will help us all identify risk earlier. As proved at Ideagen’s recent user group discussions – and through my own customer interactions – interpretation, application and integration of the new mandate brings with it a range of questions.

The challenge we must all now meet is adopting that additional requirement and incorporating new mandatory elements into our existing reporting processes and structures, mindful of requirement and of how efficient your own procedures need to be.

EASA could have a resource demand on the smaller operators too. This mandate has the potential to increase the burden on the individuals; to administer multiple tasks you might have to be the auditor, the compliance manager, the system administrator and the author of your company procedural manuals simultaneously.

In business aviation the resource impact of every new legislation affects workload, efficiency and decision making. Smaller operators should take stock for a moment: how are you going to be affected? It might be a staff resource issue or it might be a matter of utilizing your safety management system. However, this mandate will need careful review to ensure your organization keeps pursuing safety excellence.

In larger organizations, scale helps of course. Safety departments and compliance teams are resourced to ensure individuals at an operational level find support readily available in order to maintain their safety and operational targets. At the other end of the scale, tailor-made software equally assists, smoothing the multiplicity of reporting tasks potentially faced by one individual reporter.

For us all, perhaps EU 376 compliance should be looked at as an opportunity: Is it a chance to take a fresh look at your organization and at those tasked with delivering your compliance and safety objectives? How will the incorporation of EU 376 be managed in your team? How are you managing today?

About the author
Working within aviation for over 20 years, David Young’s direct experience of occurrence reporting, compliance, risk assessment and audit brings an empathy and understanding of the needs of Ideagen’s customers and of the greater aviation industry. His first-hand appreciation of operational challenges is where he sees an opportunity to work together and ensure Ideagen’s products are delivering precisely what its customers need.

 

March 15, 2016

 

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