May 09, 2024


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) considers the key elements associated with the management of Safety Objectives and Safety Performance Targets


Understanding the difference between safety objectives and safety performance targets is crucial for the oversight and management of effective safety measures.

The differentiation between safety objectives and safety performance targets is fundamental to the enhancement of aviation safety within the framework of the EASA Aviation Safety Management System. Safety objectives establish the foundational goals of an organization, providing a qualitative direction towards overarching safety aspirations. In contrast, safety performance targets transform these broader goals into tangible, quantifiable benchmarks that facilitate precise tracking and evaluation of safety efforts over time.

Safety Objectives vs. Safety Performance Targets

Safety Objectives are broad, high-level goals set by an organization to ensure overall aviation safety.

  • These objectives are typically qualitative and provide a general direction or intent regarding safety. For example, an objective might be to enhance the safety culture within an airline or to minimize the risk of accidents and serious incidents.

Safety Performance Targets, on the other hand, are more specific, measurable goals that are derived from the safety objectives.

  • They quantify the objectives and define the performance level to be achieved within a specified time frame. For instance, a safety performance target might specify a reduction in the rate of runway incursions by 10% over the next year.

Best Practices in Safety Management

Alignment of Objectives and Targets – Ensure that safety performance targets are directly aligned with broader safety objectives. This alignment helps in effectively translating the intent of the safety objectives into actionable and measurable outcomes.

  • SMART Targets – Safety performance targets should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART targets facilitate clear tracking of progress and evaluation of outcomes.
  • Stakeholder Engagement – Involve various stakeholders, including pilots, maintenance crews, air traffic controllers, and management, in setting objectives and targets.

– This ensures that the targets are realistic and take into account the insights from those directly involved in operations.

– Regular Reviews – Continuously monitor and review safety performance against the set targets.

– Adjust targets and strategies as necessary based on performance data and changing operational environments.

  • Transparency and Communication – Maintain transparency in the reporting and communication of safety performance.

– This promotes a culture of trust and continuous improvement.

Concerns and Focus Areas for Training Programs

  • Training should focus on helping employees understand the difference between safety objectives and performance targets, including how these elements fit into the overall safety management system.
  • Equip staff with the skills to conduct thorough risk assessments, which are critical for identifying potential safety issues that need to be addressed through objectives and targets.
  • Since safety performance targets are often based on statistical data, training in data collection, analysis, and interpretation is vital. This helps in accurately setting and evaluating targets.
  • Encourage a problem-solving approach that enables staff to identify safety issues proactively and develop practical solutions within the framework of established objectives and targets.
  • Training should instil a mindset of continuous improvement, emphasizing that safety management is an ongoing process that evolves with new information and technologies.

Regular reviews and adaptations of safety strategies based on real-world performance data and changing conditions are crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of safety management efforts. Additionally, fostering a transparent culture where safety performance is openly communicated ensures that trust and a spirit of continuous improvement pervade the organization.

Next Steps

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aviation safety, Aviation Safety Managemen, best practices, Safety, Safety Objects, safety performance, Safety Performance Targets, SAS blogs