Social Sciences and Economics - Worldwide

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

Spring 2013


Safety Management Systems (SMS) in aviation have the potential to minimize costs, protect profits, and increase shareholder value. However, a gap exists in SMS research between the acknowledged safety benefits of SMS and the identified economic benefits. In the current competitive marketplace, SMS will need to demonstrate economic viability through modeling before industry leaders are likely to adopt a voluntary process. This paper reviews the literature related to a variety of possible economic models applicable to measuring the benefits of the application and implementation of SMS in aviation organizations. While the ultimate goal is to increase safety, the utilization of a model chosen based on the needs of the organization, could encourage voluntary adoption of SMS before regulations make it mandatory. The model will better inform the adopters of SMS of benefits and the processes themselves so that SMS does not degrade into a focus on following process steps rather than improving safety. Using good models that estimate the benefits of SMS would facilitate decision making as well as support the implementation of SMS.

Publication Title

Collegiate Aviation Review


University Aviation Association