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How can aviation operating methods and processes be changed?

Article published
29.3.2014 at 07:41
Planes in row at an airport.
Aviation operators cannot change their processes just like that. Changes always require a safety review and time to communicate the change to the authorities. In Finland, Trafi is the authority that monitors flight safety.

According to international regulations, aviation operators must have a quality system in place.

The operations manual is the backbone of Finavia's quality system. It is used by the aviation authority to evaluate whether the company operates as it says in its operations manual.

If Finavia changes a process, it must be capable of communicating it to the authority prior to execution. If there is no time to include the new process description in the manual, the company does not abide by the manual and appears to be unreliable from the authority's perspective.

This is why Finavia always announces changes one month before they take effect. During the month preceding the changes taking effect, the old regulations are followed, and the manual is updated with the new ones.

This gives the authority time to evaluate whether the change is acceptable. Finavia also has time to provide staff with training on the new instructions.

Prior to communicating the changes to the authority, Finavia always implements a safety justification process or review that addresses all aspects caused by the change and considers whether the change will cause risks.

The introduction of new parking spots for aeroplanes is an example of a change that requires a safety review. How aeroplanes of different sizes fit in the new spots should be considered. How can air traffic control process aeroplanes parking on the new spots? And what could go wrong?

If risks occur, whether they can be eliminated or managed has to be considered. If the risks are too high, the change is cancelled.

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