LOSA: Frequently Asked Questions

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Line Operations Safety Audit (or Assessment) (LOSA) is a proactive safety management tool used in the aviation industry to assess and improve safety performance. It involves trained observers who discreetly monitor flight operations to collect data on crew performance, communication, decision-making, threat and error management (TEM), and adherence to standard operating procedures. 

The observers typically sit on the flightdeck jump seat, documenting observations without interfering with normal flight operations. The data collected is then analysed to identify trends, potential hazards, best practice, and areas for improvement in operational procedures, training, and organisational culture. 

LOSA aims to enhance safety by providing valuable insights into human factors, identifying how well crew trap and manage threats, any areas where deviations from standard procedures occur, and facilitating targeted interventions to mitigate risks and enhance overall safety in airline operations.

What is the purpose of a LOSA? 

The primary goal of LOSA is to enhance safety by identifying human factors, operational deviations, and areas for improvement in procedures, training, and organisational culture. 

What are the key benefits of a LOSA? 

LOSA provides valuable insights into an airline’s operational safety performance, allowing them to proactively address risks and enhance safety measures. It can lead to improved training programs, better communication protocols, and a stronger safety culture. 

•    Identify strengths and weaknesses of an organisation’s procedures
•    Detect and measure unsafe acts, including crew short cuts and workarounds
•    Identify design issues in the human/machine interface of the aircraft
•    Identify events which could lead to unsafe situations and aircraft states
•    Enable the observer to note how the crew deals with threats and errors 
•    Provide a valuable assurance function, following the implementation of new procedures to identify how well they are working to control safety risk

Is a LOSA mandatory? 

LOSA is not typically mandated by aviation authorities, but many airlines voluntarily implement LOSA as part of their safety management systems to enhance safety performance. It is also considered a recommended practice during an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).  

How often should I conduct a LOSA? 

The frequency of LOSA can vary depending on airline policies the aims of the LOSA. Some airlines conduct LOSA audits annually, while others may do ‘mini-LOSAs’ more frequently. 

What are the outcomes of a LOSA? 

The outcomes of a LOSA include detailed reports on observed behaviours, trends, and recommendations for improving safety. These reports help airlines identify areas for enhancement and implement targeted interventions. 

Does LOSA focus only on pilots? 

No, LOSA methodology can be used to collect observations across all aspects of flight operations, including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, and communication between various stakeholders involved in flight operations. 

How does LOSA contribute to safety culture?

By promoting open and transparent discussions about safety, encouraging continuous improvement, and fostering a non-punitive approach to reporting errors, LOSA helps cultivate a strong safety culture within airlines.

Line Operations Safety Audit from Baines Simmons

Baines Simmons is a leading audit company for the aviation industry. Each LOSA we design is bespoke, created to answer our customer's key operational questions, whilst following best practice. 

Data is captured via our bespoke app to ensure a significant reduction in data loss. We also support writing a LOSA manual and supporting documentation, identifying skills, training needs, training observers, and providing leadership coaching to help you influence key stakeholders across your organisation. 

Contact our team for more information.