Integrated Safety Management Section (ISM)
The ICAO Integrated Safety Management Section is dedicated to the development and implementation of safety management principles, policies and related activities. Such activities are intended to cover prescriptive well as performance based safety oversight processes and tools. These processes and tools are implemented as part of an overall continuous monitoring approach to safety management. An integrated safety management function will provide ICAO with a focused and consistent framework to guide strategic decisions to assure continuous safety improvements within the global air transportation system.
Included in ISM Section’s mandate is:
- the development and administration of safety management standards and recommended practices (SARPs)
- development and administration of safety management training and facilitation activities
- development and administration of safety management guidance material;
- development and administration of an integrated safety trend analysis and reporting system (iSTARS)
A useful source of information is:
and in particular, the following has relevance:
Official State Investigations
The international standards and procedures for safety occurrences reporting and investigation are outlined by ICAO in Annex 13 – Aircraft accident and incident investigation, Doc 9756 – Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation and Doc 9156 – Accident/Incident Reporting Manual.
The responsibility for accident investigation is vested in the States. In order to discharge this responsibility in an effective and impartial manner many States have created specialised investigating bodies, often referred to as Air Accident Investigation Agencies. Such agencies must be wholly independent of the regulatory entities and aviation service providers so as to be able to examine the possibility of shortcomings in the State regulations or safety programs. Examples of such bodies are: the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of Switzerland etc. In many cases the investigating agencies are responsible for the investigation of accidents and serious incidents in other modes of transport. An example of such agency with comprehensive mode responsibility is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States.
Many investigation agencies publish the final reports from their investigations online to promote access to hazard and risk-related information for the benefit of aviation safety worldwide, although if the state language is not English, many publish only in the state language with only a selection of reports – or none at all – also available in English translation.
In Europe, full transparency is not mandated. Council Directive 94/56/EC requires only that the reports and the safety recommendations from the official investigations “… be communicated to the undertakings or national aviation authorities concerned and copies forwarded to the Commission” and that “Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the safety recommendations made by the investigating bodies or entities are duly taken into consideration, and, where appropriate, acted upon without prejudice to Community law”.