Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Safe operations are essential for organizational success, perhaps no more so than in aviation. A culture of safety can be a leading contributor to an aviation organization’s success but developing such a culture and maintaining it can be very challenging. Collegiate aviation programs provide an exceptional opportunity to teach essential safety culture components to new aviators. A Safety Management System (SMS) is an effective framework to present and reinforce key safety principles and can be effectively tailored for the collegiate aviation flight training environment. Some aviation colleges may have developed a safety program or SMS but sharing and benchmarking the best programs seem to be ad hoc at best. Can the collegiate academic tradition of peer review be effectively leveraged to enable collaboration between collegiate aviation programs and provide a mechanism for continuous improvement of participating programs? This paper utilizes a literature review to examine whether a peer review process is viable for collegiate SMS using a qualitative approach. The paper also includes a proposal for the construction of a password-protected repository for reviewed programs which can be referenced by others who submit a peer-reviewed SMS program. Sharing and collaboration between those who have developed reviewed programs will provide a forum and opportunity to propagate the continuous improvement tenet of SMS. Continuously improving SMS reinforces key safety concepts to aviation students as well as to support the construction and maintenance of a safety culture in the flying operations portion of a collegiate aviation program.