The term 'Accountable Manager' may be used to describe the single individual who is designated as the person responsible to a Regulatory Authority in respect of the functions which are subject to regulation, and carried out by an aircraft operator, an air navigation service provider, an aircraft maintenance and repair organisation or an airport operator. That person is normally expected to be the person who has corporate authority for ensuring that all operations activities can be financed and carried out to the standard required by the Regulator.
An Accountable Manager must be the person with overall executive responsibility for the operation of the regulated organisation. In many cases, this will mean a person who also sits on the Board of the Company or on the equivalent non corporate body, but in the case of a very large organisation embracing more than one individually regulated unit, it may be that the internal line of accountability to the Company Board or equivalent is through a more senior member of such a body. In this case, a separately-designated Accountable Manager will be required for each separately-regulated operating entity.
Any Accountable Manager designation required by a Regulatory Authority is likely to require submission for approval by that Authority. The Regulatory Authority will usually be the National Aviation Authority (NAA)
It is unlikely that an Accountable Manager will hold any current role involving technical specialism(s) within their organisation, although they may have held such a role in the past.
An Accountable Manager is likely to rely heavily upon a small number of senior managers with subordinate executive responsibility for each area of regulated technical specialism in their organisation. These people will report directly to the Accountable Manager and may themselves have to be designated and approved by the Regulatory Authority as specific Post Holders.
In the case of an organisation which holds an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) or equivalent regulatory permission, then the responsibilities of Post Holders are likely to include Flight Operations, Flight Training, Ground Operations, Continuing Airworthiness and Quality Assurance. However, the Accountable Manager will also need to ensure that the person with responsibility for independent safety oversight across their whole organisation also reports to him/her.
Safety Management System
Where a Safety Management System is in place, the managerial organogram will reflect this pattern of internal accountability to the Accountable Manager and evidence the lead overall responsibility of the Accountable Managers themselves.
ICAO Doc 9859, Safety Management Manual, uses the term "accountable executive," which is defined as: "A single, identifiable person having responsibility for the effective and efficient performance of the service provider's SMS."