ICAO announces the launch of a Safety Information Monitoring Service in South America

In one form or another, safety management has always been at the forefront of developments in the air transport sector. The 2013 publication of Annex 19 – Safety Management provided adequate recognition on the importance of structured safety management systems in all operational domains of aviation.

The new Annex represented a paradigm shift towards a strong, data-driven safety analysis and management framework that supports the proactive identification of safety hazards, along with the necessary allocation of resources to proactively manage them. The data-driven and scientific approach to safety management was further strengthened in the second edition of Annex 19, which was published in 2016. This Annex requires States to implement data capturing and analysis systems.

ICAO and its Member States recognize the need for providing States with assistance and tools to meet the challenging requirements and tasks of data driven safety analysis. Though many States collect the appropriate safety data, they do not yet have the capacity to effectively analyse them. For this purpose, ICAO is launching Version 1 of the Safety Information Monitoring Service (SIMS).

This service is comprised of different modules that address an area of the aviation system, providing web-based applications on a secured platform for the analysis of respective safety data. These applications provide States with the capability to develop and monitor appropriate safety indicators to support the oversight of operator Safety Management Systems (SMS) and State Safety Programmes (SSP).

The SIMS concept was first presented during the South American Implementation Group Meeting (SAMIG/17) in 2016, at the ICAO Regional Office in Lima. Based on the positive feedback from States, the ICAO Integrated Aviation Analysis Section, in close coordination and partnership with the ICAO South American (SAM) Regional Office in Lima, decided to launch the SIMS in this region.

The continued involvement in the Pan American Regional Aviation Safety Team (PA-RAST) allowed ICAO to identify the areas with the greatest safety concerns for the SAM region. This permitted the development of an application focused on the safe and efficient use of terminal airspace, the appropriate application and exchange of safety data derived from ramp inspection programmes, and operational safety data related to runway excursion and incursion risks. The three modules of SIMS concentrating on these areas are the Air Navigation Monitoring Module (ANM), the Ramp Inspection Module (RI), and the Operational Safety Data Module (OSD). Yet, the concept of these modules can make SIMS applicable to all regions.

Oscar Quesada, ICAO Deputy Regional Director for South America, noted that the “SAM Region has made an impressive improvement on Effective Implementation (EI) with the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme, placing South America as one of the most advance in the world. As we work on guarantee the sustainability of these results, safety management processes represent a huge opportunity for constantly improve aviation safety in a region in which air transport is expected to continue growing”.

ICAO is aggressively developing and refining the three initial SIMS Modules to make them available to a select group of States in the SAM region that had indicated their interest in participating in the early release. During the Pan America Regional Aviation Safety Team Meeting (PA-RAST/28) held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia from 23 to 25 May 2017, ICAO presented a demo of the service and welcomed Bolivia and Colombia as the first two States to benefit from the early release of the SIMS.

The SAM Office administers the expressions of interest from States in this region and advanced a roll out plan for an early release of SIMS. Over the next few months Bolivia and Colombia will provide valuable feedback on the service and will allow ICAO to further refine the applications available through the service. Additional States will be soon be added to the service. By the end of 2017 the remaining 11 States from the list of interested parties should also have access to the applicable modules.

Quesada emphasized that “SIMS will provide a very important source of safety information to be fed into the Safety Management process to properly identify risks and mitigate them. As Air Transport connectivity increases, general public is every day more demanding and overcritical in regards to aviation safety.  We, the aviation people, have to be sensitive to this demands and satisfy them”

During the initial operational phase, the service will be limited in functionality, allowing participating States to have access to their own data and information only. To align with the 39th Assembly Resolution for the implementation of the Global Aviation Safety Plan and the associated exchange of information, the service will begin making appropriate information available to all participants, once the States agree to a Memorandum of Understanding for exchanging and sharing relevant Safety Information.

ICAO will continue to develop the SIMS modules and applications to make them available to other ICAO regions in the short future.

For more information regarding SIMS and its features you can contact sims@icao.int.