Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Safety is a critical part of aviation. Current practices demonstrate that agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are encouraging Safety Management Systems (SMS) for many aviation components, to include airports, air carriers, and air traffic control (Kirsch, 2011). The FAA claims that SMS would also be valuable to collegiate aviation (Adjekum, 2014). With safety management growing in aviation, the purpose of this research was to determine whether or not SMS is being taught in programs accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) at the undergraduate collegiate aviation level. The total population of 30 institutions offering more than 70 AABI-accredited collegiate aviation programs (e.g., flight, aviation management, and air traffic control) was evaluated. The review consisted of aviation safety course descriptions found in university catalogs. It was discovered that SMS is not generally included in undergraduate aviation-accredited programs. While many courses cover SMS-related concepts, only 13% of the evaluated programs have an SMS course or SMS as a topic in an aviation safety course description.