Safety is the number one priority of the aviation industry. ATM faces many challenges including: increasing traffic demand; the implementation of new technology; new entrants to airspace such as unmanned aircraft; and increasing automation. The ATM industry must address these while maintaining and improving safety.

The Safety Standing Committee (SSC) oversees CANSO’s Safety Programme and aims to: continually improve safety performance in air traffic management (ATM) operations; further enhance safety management and culture among CANSO Members; and provide global leadership on safety management issues. CANSO’s safety work programme helps ANSPs improve safety through elements such as safety management systems, best practices and benchmarking.The objectives of the SSC are to:

  • Provide Members with a mechanism to exchange information and best practices to improve their safety management system (SMS) and overall safety performance
  • Establish common CANSO positions on a broad range of safety issues
  • Represent the safety interests of CANSO Members to governmental and other bodies
  • Identify CANSO safety goals and develop products and initiatives in support of those goals
  • To improve the way that ANSPs identify risks and manage safety, CANSO has produced guidance to standardise risk evaluations and assessments conducted by ANSPs

There are three workgroups and various subgroups available to our Members that develop recommendations, policies, strategies and materials across a wide range of key safety issues. 

Workgroup Task
SMS and Best Practices Workgroup (SMS and BPWG) Implements a CANSO Safety Strategy that seeks to drive safety performance through global industry collaboration and a success-based approach. It does this by collaborating with industry partners and facilitating regional safety programmes and safety support.
Safety Performance Measurement Workgroup (SPMWG) Develops and implements common definitions through fostering global harmonisation in safety performance measurement. Seeking predictive measures of risk and positive safety performance metrics, the workgroup creates new leading indicators so that Members can better understand their safety performance and risk control effectiveness. The workgroup conducts analysis based on comprehensive data mining, statistical research and in depth comparison to improve operational safety. Regular reports generate better understanding of the ATM system’s current safety status and awareness about trends in potential safety hazards.
Future Safety Development Workgroup (FSDWG) Creates safety management guidance and tools which assist ANSPs to transition to increasingly automated service delivery. The workgroup develops safety management processes and approaches, and promotes the adoption of new practices in ANSPs with mature safety management systems (SMS). It also identifies and promotes good practices in SMS within the ANSP community.
Human Performance Management Workgroup (HPM WG) The Human Performance Management Workgroup helps ANSPs measure current HPM maturity, and where applicable, implement effective human performance management by supporting targeted HPM assessments and workshops. Additionally, the HPMWG will develop a roadmap to assist member ANSPs with establishing a human performance management programme.
Human Performance Management Task Force (HPMTF) Produces a Standard of Excellence for Human Performance Management which will encourage ANSPs to adopt best practice in human performance. In addition, the TF will produce guidance materials to help ANSPs assess their human performance management level of maturity.
Cyber Safety Task Force (CS TF) The Cyber Safety Task Force (CS TF) is responsible for developing a cyber maturity model that focuses on ATM services remaining safe following a cyber-attack. This includes revising existing CANSO emergency response and cyber security guidance to include strategies for protecting against ever changing cyber safety dynamics.



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