Thursday, April 30, 2015

Documenting Hazard Exposure in Safety Management Systems

Hazard Exposure in Aviation Safety Management Systems

Controlling exposure to hazards is the fundamental method of protecting airline and airport assets. A list of control measures should be established to determine whether to implement additional controls. What triggers a review of these control measures in your company? Do automated alerts notify management of developing trends, such as in best-of-breed aviation safety software programs.

SMS Pro's aviation safety management software has several mechanisms to alert management that control measures require review and possibly strengthening. These include:


Typical Approaches to Minimizing Hazard Exposure

Engineering, training and work practice controls are the primary means used to reduce hazard exposure in the aviation industry; however, one should never overlook the potential to reduce risk by avoidance strategies. Eliminating or substituting exposure to hazards is required when risks remain at intolerable levels.

New Hazard Exposure Dimension in Aviation Risk Management Software

Since 2007, SMS Pro's configurable risk matrix focused solely on probability and severity. Most airline and airport safety managers believed the third exposure dimension introduced unnecessary complexity. In April 2015, SMS Pro added an optional exposure dimension to risk calculations. SMS Administrators can choose a configuration setting in Setup >> Customize Settings....Company Info tab to turn on the Exposure setting.

Below is a sample risk matrix using the Exposure dimension.

Airline Airport Documentation of Hazard Exposure in Safety Management Systems
Easily Document Exposure at Different Times

More Aviation SMS Software Information

More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Aviation Safety Dashboard Enhancements

Configurable Aviation SMS Software Dashboard

Airline & airport managers need tools to check the status of organizational safety progress. Dashboard charts offer quick glimpses into their aviation SMS databases.

SMS Pro has approximately 25 individual dashboard charts. SMS Admins can choose which users can view individual reports. To see SMS Pro's Executive Dashboard, see...

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Configurable Safety Dashboard for Airlines & Airports

The Executive Dashboard can be configured by each user. They can drag and drop reports into positions and delete unwanted reports.


More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Management of Change in Aviation SMS Programs w/ Video

Management of Change for Airlines & Airport Safety Systems


Management of Change Documentation Software for Airlines Airports
Documenting Change is Tough Work
Management of change for aviation service providers has become an increasingly important topic with the enforcement of required aviation safety management systems (SMS).  Management of change (MOC) offers a standard process for submitting, documenting, and reviewing changes in operations. MOC helps aviation service providers to identify what changes to make, the authority for approving changes, the support for implementing changes, and the process for evaluating implemented changes.

Change management processes provide orderly, effective time-tested procedures. Many software programs exist today to manage requests for change, including the overly complex Microsoft Project, MS Excel, MS Word, etc. SMS Pro's Simple Management of Change module (Simple MOC) was designed to reduce the complexity of documenting the change management process.

Simple Management of Change Software Integrated w/ Aviation SMS Program

Simple MOC offers a template approach to documenting change, identifying hazards associated with proposed change, and managing tasks leading to the implementation of the change. Simple MOC is integrated into SMS Pro's Risk Management framework, thereby allowing automated notifications for overdue tasks and tracking and reviewing tasks. Airlines & Airports Hazard Register is also integrated into this management of change software tool.

Aviation SMS Software for Management of Change in Airlines Airports
Simple MOC has been more widely accepted then SMS Pro's original management of change software module, which proved to be too complicated for most organizations. See original MOC below: It is very complete and a nice tool.

Original Management of Change Software Module for Airlines & Airports


Limitations of Simple Management of Change 

Until recently, Simple MOC was tied indirectly to a reported issue in Issue Manager. As long as the proposed change was simple and affected only one division, everybody was happy. But what happens when an airline is attempting to bring on another aircraft type, or adding routes to war-torn regions? These types of changes require the ability to easily manage and document complex operations involving many people scattered across several departments. How can this be managed using SMS Pro's Simple MOC?

Unique Challenge From European Carrier Managing Change

Adding a new aircraft type MOC was presented to us recently by a European carrier using SMS Pro. They created an Excel spreadsheet with over 200 items to address. The objective was to assign these 200 items to different managers. For this example, we want to assign 20 items to ten managers.

SMS Pro Past Limitations Managing Complex MOCs

As most know, SMS Pro only allows one manager for each issue. Each MOC was related to one issue, thereby the tasks could only be managed by one manager. For an MOC with 200 tasks, this solution would not meet the European airline's immediate needs.

New Management of Change Solution

SMS Pro has the concept of "Linked Reports," which associates issues to one another. The complex MOC issue has been solved by adding another section in MOC called "Associated Action Items." An "action item" is an issue managed in Issue Manager (SMS Pro's risk management module). All action items are conveniently listed in the MOC. Action items can be assigned to different managers, who then manage tasks (corrective/preventive actions).

At a glance, MOC managers can see the status of these MOC tasks, as well as their deadlines and priority. See below:
Management of Change Software for Airlines Airports



More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interactive Aviation SMS Dashboard Reports

Immediate Value From Interactive Aviation SMS Software Dashboard Reports

SMS Pro has added a new dashboard report in February 2015. This report is depicted below in center of the first row. Only managers can see this report.

custom aviation SMS software dashboard reports for airlines airports maintenance
Aviation SMS Software with Interactive Dashboard

What is This Interactive Dashboard Report?

The center report in the upper row is one of 18 available Executive Dashboard Reports. This particular report illustrates the number of events or issues that have been risk assessed in a particular manner, using SMS Pro's configurable risk matrix. This risk matrix is available in the Issue Manager and Proactive Hazard Analysis Tool.

As you can see from the upper part of this dashboard report, risk assessments can be performed when:

    custom aviation SMS software dashboard reports
  1. the issue is first entered into the system (initial),
  2. upon closing the issue, and
  3. when reviewing the issue after the issue had been closed.

How to Use Interactive Dashboard Report?

Looking at the center report, you will see a "Division" drop down. Your default division appears, and if you possess the permissions to view other divisions, you will be able to change the result set based on selected division.

If you are not familiar with SMS Pro divisions, these elements can be either functional (engineering, flight ops, ground handling, maintenance, etc.) or geographical (North America, South America, Europe, etc). Users belong to only one division and SMS Pro uses these divisions to segregate organizational users and safety related data.

Filtering by Risk Assessment Stage

By default, the report is loaded using your division's data. The risk matrix shows you how many times each particular cell has been used. By selecting a different Risk Assessment Stage (Initial, Closing, Review), the interactive grid refreshes with data from the select risk assessment stage.

Possible "sexy" enhancements to this report would be:
By hovering over a number, a popup appears showing hyperlinks with the issue number and title of the issues that were used in the data set. By selecting a hyperlink, one is taken to see the issue details.


More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

ICAO ADREP, IATA & ASIAS Taxonomies Supported in SMS Pro

Aviation SMS Program Taxonomies

Industry accepted taxonomies (classification schemes) are essential to aviation safety programs.

Many valuable classification schemes are being used around the world today. SMS Pro administrators can generate their own classification schema and tailor them to their operations.

aviation SMS software classifications should be configurable, ADREP, STEADS, MEDA
Some classification schemes are too large or unwieldy for specialized operations. Yet EASA and other civil aviation authorities aim to collect accident and incident data from all aviation service providers within their control.

SMS Pro has the ability to map custom classification parameters to "external classification schemes," whether the schema is ADREP, IATA, STEADES, MEDA, HEIDI or ASIAS.

Benefits of Mapping External Aviation SMS Taxonomies?

When your civil aviation authority needs a report using their classification IDs or abbreviations, SMS Pro is prepared to provide exported data in the required formats.

Another benefit is that users can see these classification details in their own language. English, Spanish, French, German and two Chinese dialects can be setup for SMS Pro. If you want your safety program in your language, it takes about two weeks for us to make this happen.

To learn how to map your classification system to ADREP or another taxonomy, contact SMS Pro support staff.


More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Aviation SMS Training & Qualifications Module Enhancements

Aviation SMS Training & Qualifications Software

Aviation SMS software with Web based training & qualifications managerment
SMS Pro releases new Training & Qualifications module in the popular aviation SMS software suite.

Managing training and qualification items is an aviation SMS requirement. How do safety managers and training managers manage these requirements at your airline or airport? MS Excel? Paper? Other?

SMS Pro has dramatically reworked its Training & Qualifications module to include many new enhancements, including:

  • Email notifications for management to see expiring items;
  • Visually see expiring items;
  • Schedule training for groups with training calendar;
  • Email notifications for scheduled training courses;
  • PDF export of training records; and
  • Executive Dashboard integration for training managers;

Screenshots of SMS Pro's Training & Qualifications Software


Integrated software with Web based training & qualifications managerment
Integrated into Executive Dashboard


Visual Cue Alerting Users of Expiring Items

Email Notifications of Scheduled Training

PDF Exports for Reports

Integrated Training Schedule Showing Training Events

More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Online Safety Articles for Airline & Airport SMS Programs

Safety Articles for Airline & Airport SMS Programs

SMS Pro's Safety Articles module provides airline and airport personnel with easy and convenient access to either aviation safety OR training materials. Safety managers can create a series of online presentations that consist of many volumes. Access may be restricted to log-on access to only your airline or airport employees or freely available to all personnel with a link to the resource, such as contractors or vendors. Participants
can access the safety or training articles on their own schedule when they have time.

When you create your online safety or training articles, you have considerable power by adding images or embedding videos into the content. This allows safety managers to incorporate content from third party providers.

Safety articles embedded within your SMS program provide information that is critical to the success of your safety program. Today's high employee turnover requires that a mechanism is established to ensure that all employees are informed on specific safety topics and to provide useful information to help maintain a safe and secure operating environment.

Why should you use Safety Articles?

The fourth component of an ICAO compliant SMS program is safety promotion. Safety promotion requires safety managers to communicate safety information to employees. As a safety manager, your goal is to enhance your company’s safety performance. Safety articles are a great way to communicate safety information, similar to using SMS Pro's Newsletters module.

To access the Safety Articles module, you must request it from SMS Pro Tech Support. This module is not added automatically. To see the Safety Articles module, see the following screenshot:
online aviation safety and training articles software


Creating New Safety Articles


The Safety Articles module allows SMS Admins the ability to post safety articles that are available to all SMS Pro portal users. Articles can come from a variety of sources. To respect the content of others, ensure that the proper credits are given to content authors.

Only SMS Admins can add new safety articles. To add new content, ensure that you are in the edit mode. Select the edit icon that appears and select "Add article." Simply add a title, short description and the body of the article. Make sure you save when you have finished.

More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:




About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.