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What role does the SMS play in achieving the goals facing aviation equipment designers in the civil aviation? For example, MS-21 aircraft characteristic features are emphasized at JSC Irkut Corporation website, contributing to its promotion to the markets [1]:

"The maximum economic efficiency of operation, international certification in accordance with the requirements of IAC AR, EASA, FAA and our individual logistics support and support throughout the life cycle, should make the product attractive to both Russian and foreign companies - operators”.

The goals set in the civil aviation should be achieved in conditions of ensuring a modern level of safety, corresponding ICAO [2], ultra-safe system (i.e., a system in which the number of catastrophic failures in ensuring safety is less than one per million production cycles).

Developed at the initiative of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers and supported by state certification organizations, the system approach to safety is implemented by ICAO in the form of a Safety Management System (SMS), a systematic approach to safety management that includes the necessary organizational structures, responsibilities, policies and procedures.


SMS is becoming the global standard for the entire aviation industry, providing the next step in the evolution of aviation safety. The need for the development and implementation of SMS at aviation equipment designers:

First, the mandatory requirements for the development and implementation of SMS in accordance with ICAO standards are established by the provisions of Federal law No. 260-FZ of December 25, 2012 " on amendments to the Air code of the Russian Federation" [3]:

"Article 24 1 . Ensuring civil aircraft safety

  1. The implementation of the state safety management system for civil aircraft is ensured in the Russian Federation in accordance with international standards of the International civil aviation organization."

The importance attached by ICAO to the development and implementation of SMS is highlighted in the ICAO Communication of March 5, 2013 on the adoption of a new Annex 19 to the Chicago Convention integrating SMS provisions from other Annexes for the first time in 30 years [4]:

"The adoption of Annex 19 reflects ICAO's global safety strategy, which includes increased standardization, closer cooperation among aviation system partners, new information-sharing procedures and priority investments in equipment and aviation personnel are needed to ensure future safety".

Secondly, the SMS availability and functioning, which is an integral business function of the aviation organization, becomes a prerequisite for ensuring the competitiveness of the Concern. The SMS Handbook outlines a modern approach to flight safety [2]:

"3.2.5 The view expressed in this Handbook is that safety is not a priority for aviation organizations. More like, the safety management system is just another organizational process that enables aviation organizations to achieve their business goals by delivering their services. Thus, safety management system is just another core business function that needs to be considered at the same level and with the same degree of importance as other core business functions, and it is carried out through a specially designed management system».

The objectives of the SMS, defined in the SMS Handbook, in relation to aviation organizations, do not contradict the solution of their inherent tasks (in this case, the design and production of aircraft equipment) with " a reasonable, coordinated prioritization of production and protection tasks, so that aviation organizations can safely make money"  [2].

Why do ICAO requirements for the development and implementation of SMS apply to aviation equipment designers.

The Safety Management System Handbook (Doc 9859) identifies the parties responsible for development and implementation SMS  [2]:

"Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPS) for safety management are intended for two categories of "listeners": states and service providers. In the Handbook, the term "service provider" refers to any organization providing aviation services. Thus, the term includes, where appropriate, approved training institutions that are subject to safety risk factors during the provision of their services, aircraft operators, approved maintenance organizations, organizations responsible for the type design and / or manufacture of aircraft, air traffic service providers and certified airfields".


SMS Handbook establishes interaction between mandatory for the development and implementation of the State SMS Program and SMS [2]:

"In simple terms, this relationship can be expressed as follows: States are responsible for State SMS Program developing and implementing; service providers are responsible for SMS development and implementation. This is a very important issue: States should not develop SMS; rather, an equivalent role is played by State SMS Program. However, States are required, as part of the State SMS Program activities, to approve and monitor the development, implementation and operational functioning of the service provider's SMS”.


Do ICAO standards set out specific recommendations for the construction and operation of SMS organizations that design and manufacture aircraft?

It follows from the approach to SMS specified in SMS Handbook as one of the main business functions that there can be no specific, ready-made recommendations in the ICAO standards. Only the aviation organization itself, based on the tasks facing it, the size and other features, should be responsible for the development of SMS. SMS is a management tool for managing the organization of safety, built on the principles of [2]:

“The SMS should be approved by the state and, at a minimum:

  1. a) to identify the hazards to flight safety;
  2. b) ensure that corrective measures are taken to maintain the agreed safety performance;
  3. c) ensure continuous monitoring and regular assessment of safety indicators;
  4. d) to be aimed at continuous improvement of the overall efficiency of the safety management system”.


This approach to the definition of SMS does not allow a simplified approach to the SMS development   as a simple filling of some averaged template, because such a template is not available by definition [2]:

"In many cases, the organization itself generates safety concerns during the provision of services. It is important to realize that the SMS itself is neither a tool nor a process. The SMS is a toolbox that contains and protects the actual tools used to implement two basic safety management processes (hazard identification and safety risk management). The SMS makes available to the organization a toolbox that corresponds in size and complexity to the scale and complexity of the organization".

And further [2]:

"This concept is very important because the SMS is just a protective shell that ensures proper and timely storage, readiness and use of the means necessary for the implementation of specific safety management processes in the organization. Having no proper means, the SMS will be just an empty shell".


What tools (tools) should be used to create the SMS?

SMS is an approach to improving safety at the organizational level. The SMS includes four components:

  1. a) Safety Policy and Purposes;
  2. b) Safety Risk Management;
  3. c) Safety Assurance;
  4. d) Safety Promotion.

The key SMS processes are Safety Risk Management and Safety Assurance.

It seems obvious that, when the  SMS developing, it is advisable for Russian aviation equipment designers and manufacturers to refer to the experience of the initiators of the introduction of SMS - the world's leading aircraft manufacturers, who have already been involved in the process of creating the system to some extent. Of course, the peculiarities of national, organizational and professional cultures prevailing in our country, should be taken into account which is specifically emphasized in the SMS Handbook.

The basics of flight safety are laid at the stage of aviation equipment design. The safety of the type design of the aircraft or helicopter to be designed is confirmed in the certification process, culminating in the issuance of a type certificate issued by the state certification body. Quite logically, as the SMS basis of the design companies, the system providing certification of the type design is used. The process of SMS development in foreign companies is carried out mainly by supplementing the existing certification system, the system of risk analysis with the development of integrated safety processes at all stages of the life cycle of an aircraft or helicopter.

As a certification system, the leading aircraft manufacturers have implemented structural systems and processes that ensure mandatory independent control of compliance of the type design of the designed sample with the requirements of the certification basis at all stages of the aircraft life cycle   - the design assurance system (DAS).

The availability of a workable DAS meeting the requirements of European Commission Decision No. 748/2012 of 3 August 2012 is a prerequisite for obtaining EASA design organisation approval (DOA). In turn, EASA design organization approval should necessarily precede the issuance of a type Certificate for the aircraft or engine designed by the company.


Is the DAS intended only for interaction with certification bodies?

The functions of the DAS are much broader than just a means of interaction with certification bodies. Such systems are implemented in the companies of the space industry, where there are no requirements for civil aviation equipment certification. For example, The Design Assurance Guide was approved on June 4, 2009 by the U.S. Space System Group. The reason for the introduction of the manual was "a large percentage of failures and anomalies in the implementation of space programs associated with errors and misses arising in the design process." In addition, the requirement for DAS in the military equipment design companies are introduced by foreign ministries of defense,   in the case of DAS in civil equipment, the military rely on these systems.

DAS is a formal systematic process that supports the design process in order to increase the likelihood of a designed product meeting the requirements. The DAS combines independent assessments used to identify design flaws as early as possible in design and is a tool to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of design processes. DAS key point, which ensures objectivity and uncompromising assessments, is that its activities involve specialists who are not directly involved in the process of   a specific project or system design. It is important that the assessments of such specialists are free from any conflicts and interests within the project and their reports are received by the top-level management.


Does the DAS availability and operation lead to project total cost increase?

DAS activities do not lead to project total cost increase. The additional DAS costs   at the early stages of the project are subsequently not only compensated, but also provide significant savings in the overall costs of the project due to early detection and elimination of design gaps.


Is it possible to demonstrate the importance of detecting and addressing design gaps at the early stages of the project in terms of achieving economic performance for the project as a whole?

The most dramatic example can be given of the impact of delays caused by insufficient detection and timely correction of technical and organizational omissions at the development stage of the Boeing-787 on the distribution of cash flow in the whole project (Fig. 1)


Boeing, along with other U.S. companies, and the FAA are currently working together to improve certification processes within the SMS in order to reduce financial losses in the future.

In May 2012 report to the FAA by the Advisory and Rulemaking committees (ARC), signed, along with FAA unit leaders, by the heads of units responsible for design organizations approval (DOA), companies such as Boeing, Cessna, Sikorsky, Rockwell Collins, Gulfstream, as well as the heads of General aviation and aviation electronics manufacturers Associations, it is outlined                                                                                          [5]:

"the ARC recommendations will enable the FAA to conduct type certification and approvals that support the new products design and technologies, and enhance the global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry".


Is ICAO SMS aimed at developing the competitiveness of each country's aviation industry?

The ICAO SMS aims to globally improve safety. However, adherence to the principles of SMS contributes to the competitiveness of the aviation industry as a whole, including by means of reducing the costs of the aviation industry of individual States caused by duplication of certification processes, including testing and other methods of compliance due to different regulatory requirements.

Concern for business, including international, permeated the recent speech of the FAA Head, Mr. Huerta [6]:

"Currently, you may be forced to conduct a test that is conducted in each country with minor differences, and it takes much longer. The implementation of these minor changes, which will cause differences in countries, costs literally millions of dollars  ".

"The new approach saves time and money for companies because it is the one standard for testing worldwide – the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, New Zealand, China or Russial

At the same time, it is clear that the globalization of the ICAO SMS approach to safety does not leave a chance to win sales markets for those companies that are behind  in the design and implementation of the SMS.


Are there any formalized requirements for the DAS system and recommendations for its construction?

The formalized requirements to the DAS are contained in the normative documents regulating the certification processes in the sections devoted to the approval of design organizations issued by all States-designers except Russia. The most complete methods of determining compliance and recommendations for the DAS construction are set out in the document EASA [7]


In connection with the introduction of the SMS, is it advisable to radically change the certification system of Russian aviation equipment designers for similar one adopted abroad?

Design companies of different countries use different certification systems corresponding to the legislation, national culture and other distinctive characteristics of each specific country. In particular, the approval procedures of design organizations - DOA in Europe and ODA in the United States - have significant differences. The concepts underlying such systems are common.

As already noted, the basis of various systems is DAS, with the introduction of which it is necessary to begin the introduction of SMS in Russian companies.


Is it necessary to create a new special unit in the at aviation equipment design companies to start the SMS development and implementation?

For the SMS development and implementation, it is reasonable to allocate a special certification unit with functions that meet the DAS requirements   to the Certification Office, which can take care of the development and implementation of the SMS, based on the recommendations of the SMS regarding the interaction of the quality management system (QMS) and the SMS [2]:

"The application of QMS principles to safety management processes helps ensure that the required safety measures are taken across the system to assist the organization achieve its safety objectives. However, QD cannot by itself "ensure safety" as implied by the quality dogma. The integration of QD principles and concepts into the SMS as part of the safety component is what helps the organization to ensure the necessary standardization of processes to achieve the global goal of managing the safety risks associated with the consequences of the hazards that the organization face in the course of the service delivery activities".


When do we start the SMS development and implementation?

Based on the strategic goals of aviation equipment designers the development and implementation of the SMS, starting with the DAS basic system, it would be advisable to start yesterday. Gaining a part of the global sales market is unthinkable without increasing confidence in the products of Russian aviation equipment designers. Like the constituent parts of the SMS, confidence levels can be considered at two levels - trust in the safety system of the state and trust in the certification system that guarantees the reliability and serviceability of helicopters.

Indicators of the state safety system, in general, are not good. According to the IAC, if on average in the world one aviation incident accounts for 500,000 flights, then Russia – it is for 275,000.

There are no established safety indicators for new Russian civil aircraft and helicopters abroad. The opinion of one of the operators on the certification systems of helicopter design companies was presented at the exhibition Heli-Expo 2013 [8]:

The advantages of helicopters of Western production "UTair", the first to test them, believes:

  • completely different approach to service life: most Western-made helicopters and the components have no calendar neither operational life limits;
  • variety of aircraft offered by Western manufacturers, designed for various tasks;
  • aircraft manufacturers are actively involved in the certification activities of the FAA and EASA, which allows them to operate helicopters in most countries of the world.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of Russian-made helicopters are as follows:

  • high operating costs of some helicopters types due to their moral aging, which also leads to a shortage of spare parts produced by the helicopter manufacturer (the most famous example in this category — Mi-8T);
  • limited ability to meet international certification requirements.


What particular results can be expected from the SMS implementation?

The immediate, visible results of the development and implementation of the SMS, starting with the DAS, will be:

  • Establishing optimal relationships with EASA and FAA in Russian aircraft validation processes to reduce development and certification cycles and thereby reduce project costs.
  • Optimization of the Corporation's relations with all subcontractors and suppliers both within the country and abroad on the basis of mandatory interaction procedures based on the principles of safety established by international certification requirements.

When procedure of the design organization approval will be the introduced by the results of the joint work with the AR IAC,  based on the DAS of the organization, with the provision of privileges for self-approval of a significant part of the certification documentation, minor changes DD and OD, documentation for repair etc., similar to the privileges granted by EASA and FAA to the approved organizations, a significant reduction in the costs associated with continued airworthiness. is expected.

Customers  would give more credit for the products of Russian aviation equipment designers 



Whether it is expedient to develop SMS, relying only on own resources of aviation equipment designers ?

The development of the SMS in the required time is difficult without relying on the existing experience and knowledge of leading aircraft companies, without attracting highly qualified foreign specialists of high-level with extensive practical experience in industry and certification organizations.

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