Factors affecting the collection of safety data for the development of safety performance Indicators in a sample of Mediterranean Aviation Service providers

  • Crystal Ioannou

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Subjective evidence suggests that the Safety Management Systems (SMSs) used to address hazards, manage and measure safety in aviation organizations may not be as effective as it is believed. As part of their SMS organizations use incident data to develop their Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) to measure their performance and improve their safety levels. The use of low-quality data might lead organizations into not developing the appropriate SPIs thus resulting in misleading assessments of their safety performance. This thesis extends the work of Gerede (2015) and attempts to acquire deeper knowledge by performing, a series on in-depth interviews with participant followed by a structured questionnaire survey to obtain a better understanding of the factors impeding the effectiveness of their SMS.

    Initially in the first study, five aviation service providers participated in a study aiming to identify factors that impact the development of data to be used for the development of Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs). Safety managers were interviewed, and their comments analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The hindering factors were categorized and integrated into a model showing the factors that impede the development of safety data and thus impact the effectiveness of the SMS.

    Secondly, using the hindering factors derived from the preliminary study, an interview with the safety managers and safety officers from five aviation organizations was performed to investigate these hindering and underlying factors. Using thematic template analysis, their comments were categorized under main themes and subcategories. Although SMS regulations such as those in ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Annex 19 are derived from the perspective of a North American and Western European Culture, the results of this thesis suggest that certain national cultural characteristics might impede the implementation of SMS in small Mediterranean countries.

    Finally, in a survey study, a statistical analysis was performed to describe the perceptions of aviation organization employees which aims to confirm the findings from the previous studies. The study suggests that the identified factors, either individually or in combination may have an influence on the quality of data organizations collect for the development of their SPIs. The study suggests that there is a gap between actual performance of the SMS and reality. The results support a previous recent study regarding the effectiveness of SMSs.
    Date of Award2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDon Harris (Supervisor) & Nicklas Dahlstrom (Supervisor)

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