SM ICG Description Paper

SM ICG Description Paper


Provides background on the establishment of the SM ICG and describes the group's membership and purpose.


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires SMS for the management of safety risk in air operations, maintenance, air traffic services and aerodromes. These requirements have been expanded to include flight training and design and production of aircraft. Furthermore, ICAO has published safety management requirements for States by mandating that States establish a State Safety Programme (SSP) in order to achieve an acceptable safety performance in their civil aviation systems. As such, it is beneficial for authorities to harmonize their SMS and SSP requirements and implementation activities and collaborate on common topics of interest. In this document, the term “organization” refers to a product or service provider, operator, business, and company, as well as aviation industry organizations; and the term “authority” refers to the regulator authority, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), National Aviation Authority (NAA), and any other relevant government agency or entity with oversight responsibility.

Authorities will benefit from collaboration and sharing of lessons learned and best practices. This collaboration will help authorities avoid duplication of efforts, and enable them to better share information and provide oversight of multinational organizations. Aviation industry organizations will also greatly benefit from SMS requirement harmonization among authorities, since many organizations own multiple certificate types in multiple nations. Additionally, sharing methods and tools will assist in developing robust and affordable safety management systems.

Safety Management International Collaboration Group

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the FAA Office of Aviation Safety (AVS), ICAO, and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) held a meeting in February 2009 to discuss the potential for SMS and SSP cooperation. Meeting participants agreed that there was indeed value to collaborating on SMS and SSP topics of interest and established the Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SM ICG). In 2009, the SM ICG agreed to meet semi-annually in addition to regular teleconferences and initiated three workgroups to begin developing products collaboratively.

The SM ICG was established for collaboration and harmonization purposes and does not have authority over any of the participating organizations; each organization participates voluntarily. However, representatives make every effort to reach a common understanding when making SM ICG decisions/recommendations or to provide dissenting opinions. Each representative is also expected to speak for his/her organization and share the organization’s position, rather than personal opinions.

The SM ICG will interface with various stakeholders in the aviation system, including: industry members and groups; Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), European Commercial Aviation Safety Team (ECAST), other comparable organizations; authorities that have implemented or are implementing SMS and SSP; and ICAO and safety management development groups, such as the ICAO Safety Management Panel (SMP).

Today, the SM ICG establishes short-term project teams to develop specific products. Product development focuses on creating a common understanding of safety management requirements; promoting alignment of safety management terminology; and providing implementation support, both for States (SSP) and organizations (SMS), in the form of guidance material, tools, promotional material, and training program guidance.

The current core membership of the SM ICG includes the Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) of Spain, the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) of Brazil, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Netherlands (CAA NL), the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA NZ), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Australia, the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) in France, the Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile (ENAC) in Italy, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) of Switzerland, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety Organization, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and the Civil Aviation Authority of United Kingdom (UK CAA). Additionally, the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong (CAD HK), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (UAE GCAA) are observers to this group.


The SM ICG and its project teams have and continue to develop products to be shared with the wider aviation community. These products are available here.


For further information regarding the SM ICG please contact the SM ICG Points of Contact.

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