Canada’s State Safety Program - International Civil Aviation Organization

Every country that’s part of The International Civil Aviation Organization has to have a State Safety Program (SSP). The SSP is a program for organizing a country’s aviation system to encourage safety. This page describes Canada’s SSP. 

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The State Safety Program

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) states that countries must create a State Safety Program (SSP) to promote and constantly improve safety in their civil aviation system by November 2019.

The State Safety Program, ‘SSP’ is a set of standards and activities aimed at improving global aviation safety. The program describes how the different states will manage safety throughout their aviation system.

The reason States are participating in SSP is simple. We know that our skies and airports are getting busier. If we want to maintain our world class civil aviation safety reputation, we’ll need a more advanced safety system. SSP is that system.

Who is ICAO?

ICAO is a United Nations special agency that manages the global administration and governance of international air transport practices.

ICAO Annex 19 – Safety management

The global aviation system is getting bigger and more complex. Therefore, having a single standard for safety management at the State level is now considered necessary as a means to more efficiently manage aviation safety.

That is why ICAO created Annex 19 – Safety Management. It is a single document dedicated to helping States establish effective management processes necessary for a safe aviation system. Annex 19 contains ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), which member states use to make sure that global civil aviation standards are followed. SARPs help make sure that rules are in place to protect safety data from industry and applied consistently from country to country, for example, in the application of Safety Management Systems (SMS).

Annex 19 supports the strategy that will keep improving safety performance. The goal of this strategy is based on creating a SSP that addresses current safety risks and predicting future safety concerns to the aviation system.

Framework components

Annex 19 explains what states need to have as part of their SSP:

  • State Safety Policy & Objectives: Aviation policy explaining the State’s commitment to having the highest level of aviation safety.
  • State Safety Risk Management: Systematic and formal identification, analysis, and management/removal of flight hazards
  • State Safety Assurance: Evidence from performance measurement activities that the State is achieving the highest level of safety performance
  • State Safety Promotion: Internal and external communication of safety information to support the development of a positive safety culture where all stakeholders understand what they have to do to have an effective SSP

Privacy of safety data

An effective SSP relies on the sharing of safety data. This requires having a clear rules for the use and protection of safety data, safety information, and their sources.

The state safety program manual (SSPM)

The State Safety Program Manual (SSPM) is an external top-level document that provides an overview of Canada’s aviation safety system and functions, including integrated activities between state partners with TCCA as lead organization; it is a requirement of ICAO Doc. 9859, Safety Management Manual.

Why does Canada need a SSP?

Canada, the aviation industry, and the traveling public can all benefit from a SSP. This is because it:

  • Highlights the importance of safety management at the state level
  • Improves safety by consolidating safety management provisions applicable to multiple aviation domains
  • Facilitates the evolution of safety management provisions

Who does the SSP apply to?

The Annex 19 SSP requirements apply to the State, industry and service providers. States, like Canada, are required to create ways of monitoring, measuring and ensuring State safety performance using SSP requirements and guidance. The policy says how Canada intends to manage safety within our own aviation system. Canada’s SSP applies to all government partners who influence Canadian aviation safety. It includes the responsibilities of different government departments and a description of the safety objectives that we plan to achieve with our SSP.

Transport Canada Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, coordinating, and managing Canada’s SSP. This responsibility includes developing training, surveillance, investigation, and enforcement policies that are suitable to the operations and the environment of our civil aviation partners; aimed at ensuring adherence to state regulatory standards. Industry also plays a critical role in meeting the goals of Annex 19 by putting a strong Safety Management System (SMS) in place.

SMS: a set of standards for the safe operation of their organization.

State Safety Program Implementation

SSP implementation is a gradual process; it is impacted by the size and maturity of the air transportation system with the ability of a country to regulate, monitor and inspect transportation.

Creating Canada's SSP will be a collaborative effort between the Government and industry to:

  • Establish a healthy, robust, and positive safety culture;
  • Continuously improve aviation safety; and
  • Share best practices

Canada is on track to meeting Annex 19 requirements

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