Perceptions of safety culture (it's not the good old days any more)

During recent consultation with some local aviation stakeholders about operational risk at a small aerodrome, it became apparent that some of the older/bolder pilots had an old fashioned view about what is an acceptable level of risk.

One mentioned something about when he was in Africa (a while back), there was a greater acceptance of hazards (e.g. wildlife on runways) than we would tolerate in Australia, and indicated that our recommended risk treatments were onerous and unnecessary.

This perception of African safety culture is at odds with the great work being done by countries such as Rwanda to improve aviation safety.

Evidence of this can be found in the ‘Effective Implementation’ (EI) scores for the various categories covered under ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) for Australia and Rwanda.

USOAP audits are carried out by ICAO to determine Member States’ safety capabilities and the status of States’ implementation of all safety-relevant ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (found in 17 of the 19 ICAO Annexes), associated procedures, guidance material, and best safety practices.

The most recent results (2017) show that Rwanda performed better than the global average in all but two of the categories, and achieved the same (or better) result as Australia in Legislation, Organisation and Airworthiness, whilst there is clearly work to be done on Accident Investigation.

And of particular interest, given our role in airport planning and aerodrome safeguarding, is the room for improvement in the Aerodromes category.

The AviAssist Foundation is an independent, international, and impartial non-profit that exists to champion the cause of aviation safety in Africa. It's mission is to provide effective and affordable safety support to the African aviation industry.

It's pleasing to note that some of Aviation Projects' training resources, including our introduction to Obstacle Limitation Surfaces video, are being used by AviAssist in its airport engineering course at Rwanda University.

To find out more about how we can assist with operational risk, contact us.

Tags: Aviation Safety, Aerodrome Safeguarding, Safety Culture, Good Old Days

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