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Safety Assessment Methodologies

The Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency, AESA, as safety oversighting authority, exercises its competencies through a combined system of oversighting and control.

The traditional prescriptive approach, based mainly on the compliance with regulations and on-site inspections and audits, oriented to consequences, is complemented with a preventive approach based on the performance, on risk management and on the safety assurance, and oriented to processes.

This combined system is supported by the State Safety Programme (SSP) and encompasses a range of tools. Among these tools, the methodologies for safety risk prioritization can be found.

These methodologies are fully developed internally by AESA and are under continued evolution.

The objectives of the methodologies are:

  • Establishing numeric indicators which enable the definition and measurement of the parameters, values and attitudes related to safety, based on the available sources.
  • Obtaining a snapshot that depicts the safety level of the activity of each service provider at a given momento.
  • Monitoring indicators evolution along time.
  • Shaping safety trends within each field.
  • Identifying fields and providers in which an appropriate approach to the oversighting activity may foster safety improvements.
  • Adapting the Annual Inspection Plan of AESA according to the results obtained.
  • Setting out the results obtained in a graphic, simple and intuitive way. 

All in all, the methodologies aim to establish inspection prioritizations, including additional oversight activities to those initially planned, as well as the necessary re-allocation of the resources. Furthermore, provide the identification of areas susceptible to supervision, providing useful information to the oversight units for the development of their inspection tasks.

The results from these methodologies are analysed and assessed in the AESA Safety Committees, high level groups chaired by the AESA Executive Director and attended by both senior staff and safety and economic experts from the different fields.

The Committees, based on the available information stemming from the safety assessment made through these methodologies, analyse and take preventive and oversighting actions in their respective fields. The Committees host scheduled meetings three times per year.

A courtesy translation of the methodologies corresponding to commercial air transport, aerial work and supervision of air traffic services (ATS) can be found at the following links: