Regulators' Risk Based Approach Neglects Smaller Operators
From a global perspective, regulators used a "risk-based" approach when providing SMS oversight via their State Safety Programs (SSPs). "Risk-based approach" is regulator speak for sweetly saying that "the more people you can kill, the more scrutiny we apply to your operations."
During the past decade, larger airlines and airports received the bulk of the SSPs' attention as they monitored operators with their newly trained, often opinionated, SMS auditors. Smaller charter operators, aviation maintenance organizations and FBOs largely flew under the radar - but not for everyone, and not forever.
Small Operators Need Revenue to Survive!
It will never be the best interests of any small operator to focus on safe operations to the point of absurdity, or even close to "as low as reasonably practical" (ALARP).
Small businesses need to make money to survive and pay employees. They don't need to be saddled by bureaucratic documentation requirements that:
- Cost additional time, expertise and money (which many don't have);
- Are left to individual auditors' subjective interpretations; and
- Take away from profit-making activities.
What is ABC for Small Aviation Service Providers?
Do you want to spend your energy making money, or documenting SMS requirements?