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UK CAA launches new industry safety tools

May 1, 2014

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a series of template risk models, highlighting a number of specific safety scenarios, which airline and airport operators, air navigation service providers, maintenance organisations, ground service providers and regulators can use as part of their own safety management systems (SMS).

The models will allow organisations to assess their current risk controls and evaluate their exposure to each particular scenario.

The 24 risk models, which cover scenarios such as aircraft loading errors leading to loss of control, and runway incursions resulting in collision on the ground, are known as ‘bowtie’ models, www,caa.co.uk/bowtie, and can be used as templates for organisations to customise to suit their own operations. Completed models can then be fed into official safety management systems.

The CAA said it had worked extensively with the aviation industry to develop the risk models which consider human, technical and environmental factors within the scenarios. Feedback from operators using the models will be actively encouraged and shared across the industry, further enhancing knowledge and understanding of aviation safety risks.

Mark Swan, Director of Safety and Airspace Regulation at the CAA, said: “These bowtie risk models are very much part of our proactive and collaborative work with industry to help organisations identify any actions that might be required to improve risk mitigations and, ultimately, prevent accidents through a better understanding of root causes. They are an integral part of our performance based oversight which aims to identify and understand the major risks to UK passengers, allowing us to focus our resources where they can have the best effect.”

The aviation industry’s use of the models will ultimately provide the CAA with more sophisticated data and safety performance indicators, allowing the regulator to take an overview of safety risks across all UK operators helping inform future initiatives.

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