A qualitative study on the exploration of challenges to the implementation of the Safety Management System in aircraft maintenance organizations in Turkey


Journal of Air Transport Management, vol.47, pp.230-240, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2015.06.006
  • Journal Name: Journal of Air Transport Management
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.230-240
  • Keywords: Safety Management System, Aircraft maintenance organizations, Qualitative research, Civil aviation management, CULTURE, VALIDATION, SUCCESS, CLIMATE
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Safety management has recently started using a paradigm that 'sees the world as it is' rather than 'prescribing how it should be'. The Safety Management System (SMS), a product of this paradigm shift, has fairly new and different characteristics. These changes are expected to pose a number of challenges to the successful implementation of the SMS. This qualitative research study sets out to explore challenges to the implementation of the SMS in aircraft maintenance organizations in Turkey, with reference to the perceptions of Quality Management Systems (QMSs) and SMS experts working at these maintenance organizations.Qualitative data was collected from thirty participants through an open-ended questionnaire. Both inductive and deductive methods were used for the data analysis. The results suggest that the SMS entails a cultural transformation and is likely to bring about certain challenges because of its new and different characteristics. It is concluded that significant challenges may derive from a poor positive safety culture. Top management support and the practices of the civil aviation authority also have the potential to pose challenges. Other challenges are expected to result from SMS training and the need for the integration of stakeholder SMSs.The research results are expected to improve the success of the SMS and hence safety in aircraft maintenance. The results may also encourage the regulatory authorities to take measures to improve the success of the SMS in the launch of State Safety Programs (SSPs).