A Safety Management System (SMS) includes a proactive approach to safety and is comprised of four components: Safety Policy, Safety Risk Management (SRM), Safety Assurance, and Safety Promotion. While it is generally accepted that SMS is beneficial and enhances the safety of the overall operating environment, it is still not broadly embraced nor is there a general understanding of SMS implementation. Those who have a SMS program claim that it’s likely that most airports are informally using many of the basic elements of SMS.
The SRM component comprises five steps: (1) describing the systems, (2) identifying the hazards, (3) analyzing the risk, (4) assessing the risk, and (5) mitigating the risk. The SRM process is used for all identified issues, regardless of the complexity or size of the airport. An issue could be as simple as being identified and immediately fixed or complex, such as a construction project requiring a more detailed SRM process.
While the benefits of SRM include a responsive safety environment and informed decision making, there are industry concerns regarding the SRM process. These concerns include the required staff time needed and the potential need to add staff; documentation; additional related expenses; and the increase in time to get from design to construction with more complex projects. These concerns are amplified for those airports with limited resources. Research is needed to provide airport operators with guidance on how to efficiently and effectively conduct the SRM process.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for airports on conducting the safety risk management (SRM) process. The guidebook should include, at a minimum, the following elements:
· Instruction for the five steps of the SRM process and how to tailor it to match the complexity of the issue(s);
· Triggers that identify need for the SRM process and the path to get there;
· A glossary of key terms;
· A list of relevant resources;
· Step-by-step instruction on when and how to conduct a SRM panel, addressing challenges and best practices;
· SRM documentation and tools; and
· An appendix that succinctly summarizes the SRM process and includes a one-page description and customizable checklist for each role within the SRM process.
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
The research plan should be developed to identify at a minimum:
· The different formats that have been used for SRM panels.
· Examples of how airports have staffed SRM functions.
· Practical examples of the positive benefits of the SRM process.
· Specific concerns that airports had prior to implementing the SRM process, and how they were mitigated and addressed.
· Examples of SRM activities that airports are already informally conducting (e.g., FOD walks, pre-construction meetings).
· How airports with limited resources can manage the SRM process.
· Basic structure of an effective reporting system.
· Bridging the completion of the SRM process and the Safety Assurance components of the SMS process.
· Detailed step-by-step descriptions of the SRM processes that have been used at airports of various sizes and on issues of differing degrees of complexity.
The research plan should include appropriate interim deliverables that include at minimum (a) a glossary for panel review within the first 2 months of the research; (b) a list of the airports that the research team plan to contact to use as examples for ACRP review and approval, that includes airports of all sizes, and issues of varying complexity; (c) an interim report that describes the research to date, an analysis of the information collected, and a detailed outline of the guidebook; and (d) an initial draft of the guidebook with all appendices.
The research plan should build in appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum: (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed, (2) a teleconference with the panel to be held 1 month after submitting the interim report, (3) one face-to-face meeting to review the draft guidebook 1 month after submitting the initial draft, and (4) web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate.
The final deliverables will include: (1) the guidebook on the SRM process and (b) a final report that documents the entire project.
Status: The panel has selected a contractor and the contracting process is underway.