Air Operations - Baines Simmons
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Air Operations

Air Operations

Is safety management effectively integrated across all areas of your organisation? How good are you at risk-based decision-making?

New European regulations developed by EASA for Air Operators were introduced in October 2012. The new rules demand that Air Operators’ senior management engage in safety leadership in order to be able to demonstrate effectively and proactively how they manage safety performance across their organisation.

Our expertise

Our Air Operations expertise spans all sectors of industry to ensure we can guide and advise Operators in a holistic and integrated way that fully supports the needs of individual organisations, large or small. We offer a range of tailored AOC approval services that are designed to support organisations through periods of regulatory change and advise on the practical implementation of effective performance-driven safety management.

Challenges you may be facing

  • You’re struggling to keep up-to-date with the regulations and understand how they affect your organisation
  • You’re struggling to comply with certain aspects of the regulations
  • Staff competence, particularly when preparing for Form 4 interviews with your regulatory authority, is not adequate
  • You need to understand how to manage risk-based oversight and acquire the skills you will need to do this effectively across your organisation
  • You need help to be able to measure safety performance and leadership
  • You need help implementing approval and oversight of Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) in your organisation in order to comply with forthcoming changes to the regulations (ORO.FTL.120)

How we can help

Through our hands-on experience and expertise of working with operators around the globe and across all sectors of industry, we offer a wide range of AOC approval services that are tailored to your individual requirements:

  • Regulatory training and advisory services – helping you to understand and apply the regulations as it pertains to your organisational approval
  • Safety management training and consultancy – helping you to understand the philosophies and build your systems so that you proactively manage safety and demonstrate compliance to your regulator. This includes helping you understand and build your safety management system as well as delving into specific areas such as risk management (including fatigue risk management), safety leadership and safety assurance to help you optimise the performance of safety management across your organisation
  • Diagnosing your organisation structure and processes and, using Baines proprietary (SMARRT) tools and models, make recommendations resulting in performance improvements and reduced risk of liability

Air Operators need a new approach to managing regulatory compliance

The introduction of EASA Air Operations requirements calls for a fundamentally different approach to the management of regulatory compliance and safety and ultimately spearheads the way for a profound shift in the regulatory system. The changes introduced were far from superficial; EU-OPS, JAR OPS 3 or other national level regulations have not simply been replaced with like-for-like EASA requirements; the new requirements essentially form the foundation for the regulator’s move towards establishing a performance-based environment at a total system level, where safety is proactively driven to be ever more effectively managed.

Looking ahead, Air Operators now have significant opportunities to fully integrate the management of safety across their business, achieving commercial and competitive advantage if they succeed. Whereas historically effort has been focused on setting up and implementing a Safety Management System (SMS), operators will need to switch their focus to a more integrated approach to Safety Management, which can best be achieved through risk-based decision-making that is supported by a high-performing Compliance Monitoring Function (CMF).

The new Air Operations regulations – how do they affect you?

Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations was adopted on 05.10.12 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 25.10.12. The scope of the requirements is far more expansive and supersedes the boundaries of EU-OPS and JAR OPS 3. Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators are now joined by new categories that include:

  • Non-Commercial Complex (NCC)
  • Special Operations (SPO)
  • Non-Commercial Operations with Other-Than-Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft (NCO)

Additionally, we also have specific approvals (as enshrined in Part-SPA) and third-country operators (TCO).
For CAT, NCC, SPO and TCOs, one of the most significant changes is the requirement for organisations to move from a reactive to proactive approach to managing safety. Operators now need to demonstrate that they have a management system that can identify and manage the risks as appropriate to the size, nature and complexity of its operations.
Traversing this landscape of new and continually evolving regulations is a constant challenge facing Operators. It fundamentally impacts an Operator’s AOC – getting it wrong is not an option. However, for many, striking the right balance between the regulatory compliance and commercial pressures is not a clear and straightforward path.


What are the practical skills and competence required for personnel working for Operators

Particularly at this time of regulatory change, having a good grasp of the regulations that impact your organisation and ensuring that your staff are suitably competent to interpret them for your business is crucial.
Our suite of Baines Simmons Air Operations focused courses includes understanding the Air Ops regulations, compliance monitoring skills and audit techniques, safety risk management including FRMS and LOSA as well as safety leadership, culture and performance.


How effectively does your organisational structure support your safety vision?

Even the best people with the best intentions cannot be successful without the necessary infrastructure to support them. The organisation needs to be set up adequately to operate aircraft and transport either passengers or cargo safely from one destination to another.
Resources (both human and technical), processes and procedures as well as the whole organisational structure need to be fit for purpose. It can be the difference between achieving optimum efficiencies and maximum effectiveness. Our aim, when working with you to review your capability, is to ensure you have a clear picture of what you have so that you can consider intelligently where you may need to increase investment or reduce your costs.


Are you confident that your assurance system is reflecting the philosophies of proactive safety management?

The EASA Air Operations requirements introduced the term Compliance Monitoring to Operators. ICAO’s Safety Management Manual Doc. 9859, however, talks about safety assurance. Irrespective of the terminology, effective management of safety requires independent assurance that safety targets are being met, that the management system is continuously improving and that business objectives and decisions consider safety persepectives.

Questions to ask yourself : Are you clear what assurance – in the context of safety – is? Who is accountable for safety? Do your assurance processes support your safety management system? If you are not able to answer these questions confidently, then our services may be of interest to you, so please get in contact.


What role does the leadership play in determining the focus and direction of your organisation?

Your leadership team sets the tone of how you approach safety in your organisation. Is compliance with regulations just an after-thought, or does your organisation strive to intelligently adopt the regulations and work within the system so that safety, rather than considered a necessary burden, is a bedrock for your values and drives decision-making around the business?

We have a great track record of working with leadership teams across the aviation industry to help them understand the safety space that they have to navigate between production and protection and to work with them to realise solutions that offer tangible benefits that can be seen in fewer errors, increased reliability and, ultimately, healthier bottom lines.


Does your organisational culture support your safety vision?

If you are striving for both strong business and safety performance, you will be looking for intelligent application of the regulations and a proactive approach to managing your systems. This means that you have engaged staff that are switched on to your safety vision.
At Baines Simmons, we have united our well-regarded expertise in safety culture with our significant hands-on experience working with Air Operators to help organisations understand how to engage their staff on organisational cultural issues.