Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Keywords: safety management system, general aviation, safety assurance, safety policy, safety promotion, safety risk management, systematic review


A safety management system may benefit General Aviation by increasing safety and reducing accident rates. This paper aims to systematically review the existing literature in targeted databases for gaps concerning general aviation safety management systems. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology provided the overall structure. Science Direct®, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University's Scholarly Commons, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website were the three publicly available sources. Initial search criteria included PDF research articles (2006-2022), including the terms safety management system and general aviation. Additionally, keyword searches for the terms policy, promotion, risk management, and assurance guided the analysis. A final case review was conducted to eliminate faulty connections and false positive word matches. Bias may exist in this project due to the single author and lack of additional reviewers. However, two strategies were employed to maximally reduce unintended bias: (1) software-generated keyword searches and (2) a 1-week delay between reviews. The initial search returned 197 listings. Twenty-nine records remained after multiple rounds of elimination and review. The results suggest that general aviation participants receive minimalistic exposure to the benefits of the safety management system. Seven FAA publications showed little evidence of a safety management system within general aviation. Twenty-two research articles demonstrated a strong understanding of the safety management system's components, especially safety risk management. As a result of this review, it is recommended that the FAA explore the feasibility of incorporating additional safety management system education, awareness, and best practices. Additionally, future research should explore contributing factors related to the benefits of establishing a safety management system in general aviation operations. This project did not require any funding.



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