Mountain Aviation spends a lot of time devoted to SMS. All our employees are vested in SMS.
We even have a separate SMS department with an SMS manager, me! So, what the heck is it anyway? As the potential travelling public you SHOULD know this pneumonic and understand the basic principles that we as a company take so seriously. This is important for you to better ascertain your safety and security on ours or any charter flight.
SMS stands for Safety Management System. In its’ most basic shell, safety management is the disciplined and systematic approach to controlling risk. All companies have risk, inherent to its performing a job or service. An air charter company has an added risk of flight and everything that goes into moving the general public from point to point, by air.
Generally, the public feels the government, with all its regulations and security requirements have seen to all the risks of flying. This is not entirely true! Airlines and charter companies have an equal duty to their passengers by maintaining a safe fleet of aircraft and using only the best, most well trained and safety conscience pilots they may hire and train. Mountain Aviation utilizes the services of its’ Safety Management department and Safety Committee to regularly audit All aspects of its flight and maintenance operations to look for latent hazards which may increase risk. These hazards are then mitigated by the various departments and safety committee and the associated risk is resolved or at least lowered to an acceptable level.
Pilots for Mountain Aviation undertake a daily risk assessment before flying any trip. This assessment reviews destination airport runways, performance criteria, weather at departure and destination, aircraft maintenance and even a review of pilot flight experience to typical locales, such as foreign destinations. Passenger numbers and amount of baggage is considered for safe operations to and from mountain airports.
So, SMS is a pretty important term for the flying public to understand. Ask the company that quotes your next charter trip if they have a fully integrated SMS program with a full time Safety Manager. Then perhaps from reading this short article, remind yourself, “Mountain Aviation has an SMS, I think I’ll call them”