Air transport remains one of the safest modes of travel today.
Civil aircraft manufacturers provide airlines and general/business aircraft operators with highly sophisticated, efficient and comfortable machines that deliver amazing performance in terms of speed, range, short runway capabilities… and most importantly, are safe!
At Bombardier, we continuously challenge ourselves to make the customer’s experience even safer; safety plays an integral role in everything we do. This guiding principle led Bombardier to develop and embrace a Total Safety Culture that involves all areas of aircraft design, build, training and support.
Implementing a total Safety Culture is a tall order for any company, but perhaps more so for Bombardier, since we currently produce or develop 14 different aircraft in Canada, Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States. Additionally, Bombardier has 87 maintenance facilities (MRO, Parts Depots, Support Offices) worldwide.
After several years of innovative dedication, Bombardier successfully established a single safety standard that spans multiple certificates and multiple sites and is fully compliant with ICAO Annex 19. This single standard was made possible by identifying and evaluating the importance of implementing a stronger safety culture that can only be achieved when all elements are understood and incorporated into behaviours and corporate values. Essentially, when they become part of your DNA.
How can you foster a strong safety culture?
With patience. You cannot change a culture within a day. It is a long-term project.
Safety culture affects the way safety is perceived, valued and prioritized in an organization. It reflects the real attitudes, values, and commitment to product and operational safety by management and employees. It has also been described as “the way we do safety around here.”
To ensure everyone at Bombardier understands their roles and responsibilities in Safety Management Systems (SMS), several training courses were created and delivered to our employees:
- Level 1 is an introduction to the Bombardier SMS. This training is mandatory for all managers, employees and contractors of Bombardier. This 30-minute course explains the basics of SMS and how people can contribute. The course focuses primarily on reporting potential hazards.
- Level 2-Module 1 for management is a review of an accident involving a Flight Test Aircraft. The goal is to learn from this accident and to avoid common hazards that could expose Bombardier to such an event.
- Finally, Level 2-Module 2 training is clearly explaining to all management what are the behaviours embedded in our Safety Culture.
A lot of work, discipline and patience and an unwavering commitment from both the Company and its employees have been key to Bombardier’s success in SMS. Not surprisingly, word has spread through the industry and Bombardier regularly hosts visits and briefings with other OEMs , national regulators, safety bureaux and other agencies who are curious to learn more.
Accommodating these requests and opportunities comes naturally to us. We recognize safety is the common thread that binds all civil aviation.
And that is everyone’s business.
About the Contributor
This article was sponsored and prepared by Bombardier. Bombardier designs, manufacturers and supports innovative aviation products and services and provides solutions and training for the business, commercial and other specialized aircraft markets.