Airways New Zealand has been recognised as a world leader in aviation safety reporting and improvement.

An innovative safety performance indicator (SPI) programme developed by the air navigation service provider (ANSP) has been recognised by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) as global best practice for aviation safety management systems (SMS).

CANSO's Standard of Excellence in SMS framework supports ANSPs with building, implementing and improving their SMS in accordance with international standards. Identified as a leading approach that is delivering optimised safety outcomes through CANSO’s annual Standard of Excellence in SMS Measurement survey, Airways’ SPI process will be incorporated into the CANSO safety information sharing network and made available for use by ANSPs worldwide.

SPIs are a critical tool for an organisation to measure, report on and respond to its safety performance across operational safety, and health and safety. Gathering the right information and data allows an organisation to determine how effectively it is managing risk, Airways Head of Safety and Assurance Kim Nichols says.

“We’re proud of Airways’ track record of strong safety results over many years and are committed to fostering a proactive safety culture across our business,” Ms Nichols says. “The development of our new SPI process has expanded our safety thinking from what has been a well-established and understood traditional methodology, further into the proactive safety space.”

The new system and dashboards allow for significantly improved monitoring of safety metrics, data mining of actionable information and the presentation of more informative data to enable effective safety decision making. Airways’ SPIs consist of both lead and lag indicators across the organisation, structured to strengthen the traditional safety performance monitoring approach of measuring what has not gone right, alongside an additional suite of leading metrics that measure what is going well. The dashboards present a company-wide perspective of operational safety, and health and safety, enabling users to see information at the CEO and board level, as well as drill down into individual business units where needed.

“With this toolset, Airways’ managers and people have the ability to direct their safety performance monitoring and efforts into the areas where the greatest benefits will be achieved,” Ms Nichols says.

Airways’ SPI system was recognised by the CANSO panel for its integration of operational safety and health and safety, design thinking of both lead and lag indicators, and ability to be easily adapted for other ANSPs.