During the summer of 2016, the Directorate launched a survey produced in conjunction with ERA member Baines Simmons, in order to measure Safety Performance and to assist in measuring ERA airline member effectiveness in managing operational risk. The survey, which was disseminated independently to airline CEOs and their safety managers, was designed to assist members with maintaining their safety standards and approvals and to assist in any business risk decisions.
The initial results of the survey were presented at the CEOs' meeting at ERA’s General Assembly in October 2016 and at the last ERA Safety Group meeting in November, with the final result being published on 12 December 2016.
The results were very interesting in that the nine questions asked in the survey provided answers that clearly demonstrated there are differing perceptions between safety managers and their respective CEOs regarding managing safety performance. Of particular note were the number of responses, with 29 per cent of safety managers completing the survey, against 67 per cent by CEOs. At the November safety group meeting, Ian Holder, Principal Consultant at Baines Simmons, spent time focussing on each question, and provided examples of the (de-identified) comments that were received from both safety managers and CEOs, and how at times they conflicted with one another.
The survey concluded that, from a safety perspective, the overall findings are encouraging. Business leaders within ERA members recognise the business gains that need to be made from effective safety management, with a positive safety culture at its core. ERA members generally have a more mature safety culture than the wider industry, although there is a need to measure safety performance to move confidence from perception to evidence-based – which is certainly achievable.
Looking ahead, the various issues identified during the survey will be addressed during future ERA safety group meetings, with the potential for publication of ERA STARs (Safety Targeted Awareness Reports) as a follow up measure. Additionally, the Directorate will continue to add value to membership by undertaking similar initiatives that will assist ERA airlines to benchmark aspects of their safety and operations.
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