National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices (2019)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
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Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
×
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Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
×
Page 30
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Examples of Current Risk Management Practices." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
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Page 31

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27 Interviews Information from the survey results, including risk management documents shared during the survey and input provided by the panel, was used to determine a representative sample of various airport personnel to be interviewed by phone. The interviewees demonstrated excellence in using existing risk management tools and processes through their answers to the survey questions. Airport personnel interviewed were from several airport size categories in order to provide a representative sample. The focus of the phone interview was to allow researchers to ask follow-on questions for deeper exploration into the questions asked in the survey and to allow the interviewee an opportunity to expand on safety risk management tools and pro- cesses most prevalently used. In total, five airport staff members were interviewed for 30 to 45 minutes. Described in the following are the outcomes of the interviews, which comple- ment the results found in the initial online surveys. Appendix C also provides a sampling of the many risk management tools and processes shared by the airports through the survey as well as during the interviews. Scalable and Practical Risk Management With consistency, every airport used tools and processes tailored specifically to their system to manage risk. The risk management requirements are applicable to a wide variety of types and sizes of certificate holder. Therefore, those requirements were scalable, allowing users of any size to integrate risk management practices into their unique business mod- els. A risk management program should be tailored to each specific user. Consistent with FAA Order 8040.4B, Safety Risk Management Policy, and Advisory Circular 120-92B, Safety Management Systems for Aviation Service Providers, the difference between airports’ risk management processes is primarily one of the size and complexity of the operations to be covered, the volume of data available, the size of the employee workforce, and the resources needed to manage the organization. The risk management objectives, to reduce risk to the lowest practical level, are also often similar, regardless of the size of the organization. However, the FAA encourages organizations of different sizes to meet those requirements in different ways. The risk management functions do not need to be extensive or complex to be effective. All businesses, regardless of size, may use existing systems, programs, and resources to document and track safety issues to resolution. The researchers conducted interviews with airport personnel who were responsible for the airport’s risk management and who had completed a risk assessment consistent with FAA Order 8040.4B, Safety Risk Management Policy. Reasons for risk assessments included C H A P T E R 4 Examples of Current Risk Management Practices

28 Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices new systems, a change to systems, a change in operational procedures, and other issues deemed necessary. Also interviewed were airport managers who rarely completed a risk assessment document or a PHA form, as shown in Figure 3. While the range of use varied, each airport was comfortable with its risk management tools and processes. Consistent with the survey results, the larger airports had the most robust SMS or ERM processes, but all airports were working to further refine those tools and processes used. A common word noted in every phone interview was “practical.” Every airport had a primary goal of having a “practical” risk management process. The practice of that practicality was quite different depending on size. The small airports discussed their ability to efficiently capture data with a three-ring binder. When the binder became full, a trip to Walmart would suffice to purchase another three-ring binder along with another ream of paper. These airports did not have a desire to purchase expensive database management software packages. Three-ring binders, Microsoft Outlook calendar reminders, and Microsoft Word and Excel were identified as common tools to help manage risk. The large airports, on the other hand, gathered a copious amount of data and relied on robust database management tools such as Origami Risk Management software. Risk Management Tools Used by Part 139 Airports Part 139 airports are experiencing an exciting risk management journey. Some of the airports are only beginning their journey, and other airports have been on course for sev- eral years. Part 139 airports that participated in the original SMS pilot programs are further along than those airports that did not. The airports that participated in the original pilot programs built “cookie-cutter” risk management tools. These tools were adequate when originally created but lost their effective- ness over time. However, these airports’ risk management programs matured as the airports practiced continuous improvement. They used their ever-increasing experiences in risk management to fine tune a practical risk management process. These airports, again, pointed out the practicality of their risk management processes. Virtually all airport staff members interviewed said they truly believe in creating tools that are practical for their operations. Part 139 airports use a wide variety of tools to implement their risk management processes. Some personnel from small airports indicated they do not use any existing policies or tools to execute their risk management objectives. These airport individuals use what they defined as “commonsense” criteria for mitigating risks. When asked about using a software package to help their risk management decisions, they said “no, thank you.” The surveyed airports adhered to the following hierarchy of actions: 1. Use common sense, because common sense is free. 2. Leverage the risk management processes required by OSHA. 3. Leverage the risk management processes required by their insurance companies. 4. Leverage the risk management processes required by applicable FAA advisory circulars, such as AC 150/5370-2F, Operational Safety on Airports during Construction. 5. Capture risk management processes in a three-ring binder. 6. Buy a Microsoft Office package consisting of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. 7. Create a common/shared drive in order to more efficiently manage the increasing amount of data. 8. Hire a new person for database management. 9. Construct a request for proposal (RFP) for a possible database management software package. 10. Purchase a large database management software package for $450,000 to $800,000.

Examples of Current Risk Management Practices 29 Part 139 airports also used a wide variety of organizational structures to execute their risk management objectives. Small airports use a single individual who takes on multiple roles, including safety. Other airports interviewed are using risk management organiza- tional structures with process managers, process owners, and an accountable executive. Two airports were found that had created a robust risk management process without an accountable executive. Instead of identifying an accountable executive, these airports had constructed an accountability committee. In one case, the executive director of the airport is one of the members of the Accountability Committee. The purpose of this committee was to increase the knowledge and share the responsibility of the executive director or accountable executive. This airport determined that the knowledge of the group exceeded the knowledge of a single executive director. Once again, the term “practicable” was discussed. This staff member felt strongly that this unique organizational structure was the most practical for that airport. Use of Key Performance Indicators and Safety Performance Indicators KPIs are tools that provide quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting strategic and operational goals. KPIs represent a process for anticipating risks and gauging the performance of risk avoidance processes. When measuring safety performance, some organizations use SPIs. Regardless of the term used, an airport must be able to assess performance. The indicators need to be measurable and in line with an organization’s goals and objectives. Indicators can change and should be updated as progress is made. For airports, KPIs represent known data sources and existing data collected through the normal course of business. If an airport is Part 139 certificated, the airport operator is obli- gated to collect, document, and retain certain safety data points, including Part 139 daily inspections, aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) inspections, driver training, and incur- sions. For airports that are not Part 139 certificated, operators must consider the data points they already have in place and identify other data points that might provide a more complete safety performance picture. While airport personnel interviewed discussed various KPIs for their airports, the list was incomplete. For a more extensive reference, ACRP Report 131: A Guidebook for Safety Risk Management for Airports (Neubauer, Fleet, and Ayres, 2015, pp. 193–94) identified two lists of KPIs or potential KPIs that all airports should consider to support their risk management processes. These lists, reproduced below, were divided into those airports that are under the requirements of Part 139 federal regulations and those airports that are not. Part 139 KPIs 1. Part 139 self-inspection results a. Completed as described in the ACM [Airport Certification Manual] b. Number of discrepancies documented c. Time to correct noted discrepancies d. Trends 2. ARFF inspections a. Number of discrepancies by location and tenant b. Time to correct noted discrepancies c. Trends 3. ARFF run reports (non-medical related) a. Trends 4. ARFF medical run reports a. Trends

30 Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices 5. Airfield driver training a. The number of individuals trained (used to put data in context) 6. Air Operations Area (AOA) access training (badging) a. The number of individuals trained (used to put data in context) 7. FOD [foreign object debris] program results a. Completed inspections and documentation (as appropriate) b. Results of FOD inspections c. Trends d. Level of tenant and airline participation in the program Non-Part 139 KPIs 8. Baggage area program results (as appropriate) a. Completed inspections and documentation (as appropriate) b. Results of baggage area inspections c. Trends d. Level of tenant and or airline participation in the program 9. Ramp inspection program results a. Completed inspections and documentation as described in Appendix C b. Results from inspections c. Trends d. Level of tenant and airline participation in the program 10. Terminal and landside inspections (if appropriate) a. Results from inspections b. Trends c. Level of tenant and airline participation in the program 11. Airport operator employee incident and accidents a. OSHA Reportable (if applicable) b. OSHA non-reportable (if applicable) c. Trends 12. Property damage reports a. Trends 13. Hazard reports a Public reports b. Internal Authority reports c. Tenant and airline reports d. Time to investigate e. Time to corrective action(s) completion 14. Incident and accident reports (non-aircraft related) a. Public reports b. Internal airport operator reports c. Tenant and airline reports d. Time to investigate e. Time to corrective action(s) completion 15. Safety Training a. Number of tenants and/or airline employees trained in SMS orientation b. Airport operator staff and employees trained in SMS orientation, SRM process, and assurance c. Test results d. Trends The surveyed airports are beginning to see the value of tracking KPI- and SPI-related data, but, consistent with the survey results, airports have struggled with managing residual risk and with determining how to effectively measure success in relation to safety. Of the air- port personnel interviewed, the large airports had established the clearest formal processes to track these risks, but they still recognized a need for improvement. The small airports are beginning their journey and see the value of KPIs or SPIs to secure greater buy-in from stakeholders.

Examples of Current Risk Management Practices 31 Crossflow of Information Virtually all airport personnel surveyed noted the importance of an effective information crossflow process. There was a significant amount of differing opinion on the current form of crossflow. The small airports expressed the desire to continually improve their risk management processes applicable to airports of their size and complexity. Many airports pointed out the value of their annual conferences; however, the value was tempered when thinking about time-critical information. In this case, waiting for an annual conference slowed down the crossflow of critical, time-sensitive information. The AAAE has established a crossflow mechanism for sharing risk management–associated challenges. The smaller airports expressed the desire to invigorate the AAAE crossflow process to improve the training, communication of best practices, and sharing of risk tools. The small airports equated this crossflow to a mentorship program. Many of the smaller airports did not participate in the pilot programs and thus did not gain the insight they provided. These smaller airports are beginning their journey, creating their own risk management tools. They communicated their need for continuous improvement and the inability to hire an outside contractor. These small airports will need the assistance from large airports in establishing an SMS or ERM program. Interview Quotes that Identify the Sentiments of Managers • Our risk management program is progressing at the “speed of trust.” • If I fully comply with my advisory circular, insurance, and OSHA requirements, I can sleep at night. • We are modifying our procedures on a regular basis to make our program more practicable. • The best way to sell this stuff is with common sense. Conclusions from the Interviews The examples of current practices were a valuable addition to the overall results. Part 139 airports are ahead of the smaller airports, with the Part 139 airports that participated in the original pilot programs the furthest along. Personnel from airports that did not participate in the pilot programs suggested a need for continued training and better understanding of why these tools are necessary and how to tailor them for their operations. Each airport, without exception, uses a different process to manage risk. Most airports are implementing risk management tools and processes designed to fit their airport, integrat- ing safety management and enterprise risk management practices into their unique business models. These airports are using risk management programs tailored to their specific risk management objectives; therefore, any advisory circular cannot provide a single means of compliance. This applies to all certificate holders that are required to develop and implement risk management processes.

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Airports are using tools that help them identify risks within their environment. Most airports are providing a means to report risk. Smaller airports use low-cost options such as email, a 24/7 phone number, or a suggestion box. Larger airports have embraced safety management or enterprise risk management programs that include more expensive reporting and tracking systems.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 106: Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices provides information about the existing tools that airports use for identifying common hazards and the processes used for measuring, monitoring, and prioritizing the associated risks.

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