Leading aviation safety experts, Baines Simmons, helping airlines to safely ramp up operations

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The recently launched ‘BE READY and STAY SAFE’ campaign from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is designed to assist the aviation industry to manage the critical safety issues all businesses in this sector face during the ‘Ramp-Up’ of operations.

Effective monitoring in any risk management evaluation process will hold the key to success and the ramp up process is likely to be complex and labour/time intensive.  A Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) could be an effective way to underpin a safety management system performance, offering a bespoke, structured programme of observation of front-line activities built around the Threat and Error Management (TEM) concept.  LOSA provides a unique insight into ‘work-as done’ during real operations, and provides valuable insights into what is actually working well, or not so well, on the line. Based on the data, and following risk assessment, risk mitigation actions can be prioritised and implemented.

One key challenge faced by many airlines, is that as a result of the limited number of flights currently being operated, there is limited safety data, for example flight data monitoring (FDM), to inform risk management. One way to fill this gap is to undertake a Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) or a series of mini-LOSAs over many months. LOSA observers are trained line pilots from the airline that sit on the jumpseat and record de-identified and detailed information that is then analysed by our experts to provides a unique insight into ‘work-as done’ during real operations.  LOSA data provides valuable insights into what is actually working well, or not so well, on the line; based on the data, risk mitigation actions can be prioritised and implemented.

Baines Simmons, part of the Safety & Security Division of aviation services group, Air Partner, has been working with airlines to use LOSA to provide the necessary ongoing monitoring of line operations as they ramp-up and settle. LOSA was previously used as a way for an airline to take a health check of normal line operations, but with minimal adjustment to reflect the threats and errors occurring in the new-normal, LOSA can provide rich data during times of change.

Ian Holder, Managing Director, Baines Simmons says: “Our aviation industry faces a novel ‘ramping up’ of operations and there is the potential for increased risk going unseen. The benefit of our approach to LOSA is that we can offer a customised approach to each client.  We take care to establish the operational questions they want LOSA to answer and design the LOSA accordingly. A generic ‘day in the life’ LOSA has limited value, especially in times of change.

“We have worked with a number of global airlines, creating bespoke LOSAs which provided tangible value and insight because questions were from different departments and we were able to give feedback that had true and current meaning for their organisations.  Through competence and skills development training, we can improve an organisation’s understanding of LOSA and how it can contribute to an effective safety management system in any aviation organisation.  All of us in the aviation sector look forward to a safe ramp-up as the world continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.  We look forward to working with our clients to ensure they are READY and SAFE during the ramp up period and beyond.”