An Aviation Safety Management Glossary: All the Terms You Need to Know

June 1, 2018

One of our driving forces here at Spidertracks is smarter aircraft management. Whether that’s giving you the tools you need to communicate with your fleet no matter where they are in the world (Global Cross-Channel Communication, anyone?) or delivering world-class innovation at affordable prices, we’re constantly striving to provide you with the means to increase operational efficiency, ensure aircraft and pilot safety, and simplify your business in an industry where complexity has historically been king.

Because a key component of smarter aircraft management is stronger safety management, we recently published an introductory ebook titled Safety Management Systems 101, covering things such as the governing body responsible for crafting and enforcing aviation rules and what you can do to guarantee that your own operation is meeting current and future industry mandates.

A big part of understanding what’s involved in safety management is being familiar with the jargon — so in this post, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the different acronyms and terms we cover in the ebook. Read up below, and then go here to download your free copy of Safety Management Systems: An Introductory Analysis.

SARPs (Standards and Recommended Practices)

Best-practice protocols and guidelines for the aviation industry, set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They include provisions for the implementation of the processes known collectively as Safety Management Systems.

SMS (Safety Management System)

A comprehensive approach to safety designed to ensure that an aviation operation is always moving toward better and safer practices. Comprises 4 ‘prongs’:

1) Safety policy

2) Safety risk management

3) Safety assurance

4) Safety promotion

FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance)

Essential to any SMS. FOQA involves collecting in-flight data, analysing it, reporting on it, and using it to make safety adjustments and improvements.

Also called Flight Data Monitoring (FDM).

FDM (Flight Data Monitoring)

Synonymous with FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance).

LOSA (Line Operations Safety Audits)

Focuses on proactively preventing human error and the impacts it could have on safety. Works with FOQA/FDM (which address existing safety risks) to bolster every aspect of an operation’s SMS.

Uses ‘trained observers’ to anonymously collect data on pilots and flight crews, as part of a system called ‘threat and error management.’

TEM (Threat and Error Management)

The system employed by LOSA to identify potential human-error safety hazards and come up with solutions to eliminate them.

A non-judgmental, data-driven analysis of flying habits that allows operators to target areas needing improvement.

We hope this quick glossary has been helpful and informative! Don’t forget to download our ebook for a more in-depth look at each of these terms and an analysis of how you can implement them in your own organisation to increase safety.

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