Guest Editorial


Improving aviation safety is the reason for the collaboration between Transport Canada and the aviation industry. That collaboration is clear in the principles of safety management systems(SMS), one of Transport Canada's top priorities.

SMS is a risk- and performance-based systemic approach to reducing risk and threats. Introduced in 2001 in Civil Aviation within Transport Canada, SMS is a new way of doing business-a proactive way to prevent problems before they occur. SMS builds on existing rules and regulations to help improve on the enviable record of aviation safety that Canadians know today.

SMS builds on existing
rules and regulations.

While safer operations are the ultimate goal, SMS is about more than that. Many companies have declared publicly that SMS is good business. The ability to better manage issues before they become problems not only improves safety but also has a positive impact on the bottom line by avoiding the costs associated with incidents and accidents and loss of company credibility.

Full implementation of SMS is a
priority for Transport Canada.
SMS improves safety, and saves time
and money. Most importantly,
SMS helps save lives.

Full implementation of SMS is a priority for Transport Canada. Surprising? No. A properly executed SMS improves safety, and saves time and money. Most importantly, SMS helps save lives. And that is ultimately Transport Canada's goal. And so, I have committed all of the Safety and Security Directorates to implementing SMS with their stakeholders. There is both strong commitment and genuine enthusiasm for this transformative approach, especially among the new generation of management at Transport Canada.

Of course, full implementation of SMS principles and practices requires a shift from old thinking to new thinking, and this requires a significant culture change. With our stakeholders, culture change must permeate throughout the Canadian and international aviation enterprises, and the individual operators.

SMS needs the support of effective leadership and buy-in across an organization. Engagement and collaboration are key to the success of SMS. A collaborative environment is essential. We must continue to work together to create the culture change necessary for SMS to reach its full potential.

We must maintain our vision and focus on SMS. There is a tremendous amount of work already accomplished, and more still to do. Let's work on this together.

Marc Grégoire
Assistant Deputy Minister
Safety and Security

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