National Aviation Day – The Evolution of Safety Thinking Over 100 Years in Canadian Aviation Industry

by Bolormaa Nyamdorj

AVCON.WW would like to take this opportunity to thank all airport and airline employees, engineers and maintenance workers, flight crews and air traffic controllers, and ground operators. Without their dedication and contribution, it is impossible to keep aviation safe and secure!

Looking back at Canada’s aviation history, February 23 is marked as a day to commemorate the development of Canadian aviation. On this date in 1909, Silver Dart, the first controlled powered airplane in Canada, flies 800m at Baddeck, Nova Scotia. The plane was built by the Aerial Experiment Association and piloted by engineer J.A.D. McCurdy under the leadership of Alexander Graham Bell, founder of AT&T and the first practical telephone.

Canada has one of the safest air transportation systems in the world. Safety has been the highest priority for the Canadian aviation and since 1999, when Canada lead the world by being the first country to implement safety management systems.

Every day, more than 14000 commercial aircraft take-off and land safely at the 91 Canadian airports (Statistics Canada, 428,861 movements in November 2018).

Over the past 50 years the safety approach has evolved from “technical era -1950s” to the “total system era – 2010s”. During the technical era, safety deficiencies were strictly related to technical factors and technological failures through the years the safety investigation has expanded to include human factors, organizational issues and now encompasses Who, Why and How in addition to the What and When. This mature safety management concept is all about Risk Management and analysis. It is essential we continue to learn how to analyze operational safety data in order to understand and the mitigate most significant risks.

According to the Global Aviation Safety Plan, the next concept will be predictive risk management that leads to developing advanced safety oversight systems. Collaborative decision making already plays an essential role and analyzing real-time safety data is continuously improving the overall efficiency of airport and airline operations. Furthernore, Predictive risk management analysis will be integrated into each level of operational systems to predict risks prior to the implementation of operational changes.

Finally, we must never forget that human factors remain an integral part of the new concepts. It is important to consistently consider human behavior and performance in safety management systems. Safety policies and procedures must be developed to optimize human performance and prevent inadvertent errors avoid accidents and unnecessary pain both human and economical.

Happy National Aviation Day! Again, thanks for everyone for your decades of dedication to safety of Canada’s aviation industry!

If you wish to learn more about this future please contact us at or call at 416 283 7575.

AVCON.WW Inc. is a consulting & training solution Company specializing in best practice, SMS & environmental change transition management solutions through quality auditing, training and corporate cultural integration throughout all levels and departments, in the Transportation Industry in the Aviation, Trucking, Transit, Rail and Shipping sectors.