ALPA Canada Board: SMS Essential to Aviation Safety
The ALPA Canada Board issued the following response to CBC-TV’s
program, “Power & Politics with Evan Solomon,” which aired on January 22.
“Safety management systems (SMS) are a valuable tool to enhance safety in
aviation and other transportation industries in Canada. SMS aid airlines by
helping to identify and mitigate safety risks that have not been anticipated by
regulators. As a result, SMS programs are critical to ensuring the highest
safety standards are maintained and providing a continuous means of identifying
hazards before they become serious.
“Equally important is the concept that nonpunitive and confidential safety
programs remain a foundation for heading off safety risks before incidents or
“ALPA maintains unequivocally that a nonpunitive,
confidential safety reporting program is essential, especially when it comes to
identifying and responding to human factors issues.
“Canada is a world leader in adopting SMS programs in its marine, rail, and
aviation industries. SMS programs ensure continuing safety by combining the
appropriate levels of incentive for frontline employee reporting, internal
auditing, and regulatory oversight.
“When Transport Canada or the airlines consider releasing any transport audit
to the public, they must ensure that any confidential reporting referenced or
used as the basis of that audit remains strictly confidential. This is absolutely
essential as the confidentiality of information given in a SMS is the very
backbone that ensures its authenticity and timeliness.”