Safety Management System

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) is leading the way in implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) that enables all of us, Airport Authority, airlines, tenants and other business partners to operate in a safer environment.

What is SMS?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a Safety Management System (SMS) as the formal, top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls. It includes systematic procedures, practices, and policies for the management of safety risk. (FAA Order 8000.369)

SMS focuses on organizational or system safety rather than conventional work-related health and safety issues. SMS allows the organization to pro-actively manage risk, detect and correct safety problems before those problems result in incidents or accidents, and reduce the impact and cost of incidents.  This is accomplished by developing an organization-wide safety policy; formal methods of identifying hazards and analyzing and mitigating risk; methods for ensuring continuous safety improvement; and organization-wide strategies to promote safety.

The Four Pillars

The Four Pillars of SMS, as defined by the FAA, are: 

Safety Policy:  Establishes senior management's commitment to continually improve safety; defines the methods, processes, and organizational structure needed to meet safety goals.   

Safety Risk Management (SRM):  Determines the need for, and adequacy of, new or revised risk controls based on the assessment of acceptable risk.

Safety Assurance (SA):  Evaluates the continued effectiveness of implemented risk control strategies; supports the identification of new hazards.    

Safety Promotion:  Includes training, communication, and other actions to create a positive safety culture within all levels of the workforce. 

The Benefits

The most obvious benefit of SMS is enhanced safety. Other benefits include: 

  • Reduce the direct and indirect costs of accidents including fines, repair costs, damage claims and increased insurance premiums.

  • Improve employee morale and productivity by promoting increased communication throughout the organization.

  • Establish a marketable safety record.

  • Comply with legal responsibilities for safety.

  • Avoid incident investigation costs and operational disruptions.

  • Continuous improvement of operational processes.

Safety Policy Statement