An SMS is for an organisation, but the principles are ones you can use on a personal level. There is a lot of information on the CAA website on SMS; feel free to take a browse around the site.

Proactive thinking

A safety management system is forward looking. It is proactive because it looks for and identifies risks before they become a hazard. You can do this for yourself. Take some time to identify what might be hazards for you.

  • Is your workload too high?
  • Do you have a tendency to make decisions too quickly or too slowly?
  • Do you get stressed easily?
  • Is your aircraft carrying a few too many defects?
  • Have you had a lot of late nights lately?
  • Do you have a personal preflight system to help you identify whether you are fit to fly?


It is holistic because it takes all of your aviation practice into account, not just flying the aircraft.

You should be identifying the hazards all around you, the ones on the aerodrome, any that you spot at your maintainer’s facility, maybe ones you can see in your organisation or club, or if you are not a member of a club, any that may catch other aviators.

You should also, after having attended the AvKiwi and/or completing this course, be able to see the hazards identified in this course, and how they affect you and others around you.

Strengthens safety culture

All of this strengthens safety culture. With more people taking an interest in catching hazards and filling those ‘Swiss cheese’ holes, aviation will be all the safer.