FAA Pilot Study 1 – Gap Analysis and SMS Manual Development

Joanne and a number of key business partners worked on the FAA’s first SMS Pilot Study at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  The first study focused on drafting a SMS program manual and dissecting Part 139 to determine where SMS might fit. We discovered that nearly 50 % of what airports are doing today can be adapted or expanded to include SMS. That’s great news and we can help you integrate SMS into your Part 139 airport operations right away. We also have solid experience collecting information to design and develop a SMS Manual that fits your airport operations.

FAA Pilot Study 2 – Follow-on Study (Proof of Concept)

Only three airports participated in the proof of concept study, South Bend, Seattle-Tacoma, and Concord Regional in North Carolina. Joanne continued her work at Seattle-Tacoma and began sharing ideas and findings as the project progressed. The 12-month study fundamentally dug deep into some of the more complex aspects of SMS integration into Part 139 airports. The study tasks were to investigate data collection and reporting requirements, public disclosure and liability issues, training, management and operational roles and responsibilities, safety committees, risk management, hazard reporting, risk assessments, ramp inspection programs, FOD expansion programs, and audit programs. At the end of the 12-month period the airports were able to revise the SMS Manual and incorporate findings.

FAA Pilot Study 3 – Implementation

Of the 14 airports participating in the SMS Implementation study Joanne completed work with a total of 6 airports across the nation including Seattle-Tacoma International, San Antonio International, South Bend Regional, Indianapolis International, Southern Illinois at Carbondale, and Tallahassee Regional. The goal of this final 13-month study was to deploy SMS by focusing on the safety risk management (SRM) and assurance program elements. At the core of this study and SMS is SRM. The study scope of work required airports to conduct a minimum of 3 safety risk assessments (SRAs). SRAs are a formal process to identify hazards, assess risk, and develop mitigations to treat risks. Joanne has developed a process and associated forms to help manage SRAs for operations as well as for planning, design, and construction. She also worked with airports to develop a scalable audit and inspection program that was integrated into today’s Part 139 self inspection program.

Non Pilot Study Projects

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis Study S11-04-07 Lessons Learned from Airport Safety Management Systems Pilot Studies

Joanne was selected as principal investigator to conduct interviews and compile findings and lessons learned from all U.S. airports that participated in one of the four FAA SMS pilot studies.  Joanne interviewed representatives from 26 of the 31 airports from the SMS Pilot Studies;  the findings provided a wealth of information regarding the various SMS experiences at US airports.  In addition, Joanne interviewed 3 Canadian airports for their insights and progress on the Transport Canada phased approach including challenges, successes, and benefits.  The Synthesis Study report will be published in the fall of 2012.

El Paso International Gap Analysis

As sub consultants to Ricondo & Associates, Joanne is nearly finished with a Gap Analysis for El Paso International.  The Analysis took into account current staffing, systems, and processes to provide options to airport management for SMS compliance and strategies for a small-hub airport.

Elmira Corning Regional Airport Gap Analysis

As sub consultants to McFarland Johnson, Joanne completed a Gap Analysis for the Elmira Corning Regional Airport.  The analysis is part of a larger master planning effort underway by McFarland Johnson.  The Gap Analysis included staff, tenant, and airline interviews and assessment of business and operational processes with the objective of developing a SMS recommendation that will be feasible for a 16-staff non-hub airport.

Denver International Gap Analysis

As sub consultants to Futron Corporation, Joanne is finalizing a Gap Analysis for the Denver International Airport (DIA).  The gap analysis was conducted as part of a enterprise risk management (ERM) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) management initiative at DIA.  The Gap Analysis included staff, tenant, and airline interviews to investigate opportunities to integrate SMS into the entire CAT-X airport and city organization by leveraging existing departments, staff, and systems.