CANSO and EUROCONTROL announce major revision to the Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems

- Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

CANSO is proud to announce a major revision to the Standard of Excellence (SoE) in Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), in partnership with EURCONTROL. The SoE is a gold standard for ANSPs to help them continuously improve their SMS.

Safety is the aviation industry’s number one priority, and the ATM industry faces numerous challenges, including increasing traffic demand, the implementation of new technology, new entrants to airspace such as remotely piloted aircraft systems, and increasing automation. The industry must address these while maintaining and improving safety.

The CANSO Safety Standing Committee (SSC) oversees CANSO’s Safety Programme, which aims to continually improve safety management and culture among CANSO members and provide global leadership on safety management issues. CANSO’s Safety Programme helps ANSPs improve safety by offering guidance on safety management systems, best practices, and benchmarking.

The first version of the SoE was published almost 15 years, and while it was revised a number of times, the recent undertaking was started in the spirit of continuously improving the standard as well as slightly raising the standard.

This version of the SoE in SMS has been extensively revised following a detailed review between CANSO, EUROCONTROL and participating ANSPs. Changes have been made to:

  1. Align with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Annex on Safety Management (Annex 19) 2nd Edition.
  2. Address feedback received from ANSPs and other industry bodies.
  3. Incorporate the latest developments in safety management thinking and practice.

These changes keep the SoE in SMS in line with international rulemaking and best practice.

This revision includes the launch of an online portal that allows ANSPs to complete their Maturity Assessment questionnaire online, abandoning the old method of emailing spreadsheets back and forth between ANSPs and assessors. This new portal will help streamline the process, making it easier for ANSPs to complete the assessment and for assessors to review the results.

“As ANSPs mature and the industry evolves, it is essential to continually revisit, revise, and refresh standards. By inching the bar higher, we can maintain and improve safety while addressing the challenges of the future.” CANSO Safety Programme Manager, Bill Middleswart, commented.

“EUROCONTROL is proud of this longstanding relationship with CANSO which keeps us at the forefront of the industry, providing global leadership on safety management issues, and helping ANSPs improve safety while continuously improving their operations.” As Radu Cioponea, Senior Safety Expert from EUROCONTROL commented.

For more information on the Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems, please read here:


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