Examination of Witnesses

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:28 pm on 23rd February 2012.

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Jim McAuslan: If I may, this comes at the same time as two other developments on safety management systems within the airline industry. It is a major shift in how airline regulation is undertaken that we have a move towards safety management systems; we have a move towards fatigue risk management systems, which is a way of managing fatigue differently from set regulations; and now we have outcomes-based security as well, which is basically a security management system, but done with a light touch.

Our concern is whether, culturally, the industry is capable of taking on this light touch. It is one where we have too often seen experiences where the light touch has meant people saying, “Well, we can ignore this and we can ignore that.” The industry has a history of relying on hard numbers, hard details and hard processes, which are applied and then audited. For us, the jury is out on whether another delegation of regulatory power through a security management system can be digested at the same time as the delegation of safety management systems and fatigue risk management systems.