Factors affecting the implementation of safety management systems by private air transport operators in Uganda
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This study aimed at examining the factors affecting the implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS) by private Air Transport Operators (ATOs) in Uganda. Specific objectives of the study were; to examine the influence of Management commitment; Organizational safety culture and Regulatory factors on the implementation of SMS by private ATOs in Uganda. A cross sectional survey design was used. The accessible population was 72 respondents, of which 68 respondents formed the sample. Data was collected using questionnaire survey and interview methods. The validity score of 0.921 and reliability score of 0.869 were obtained while 89.7% constituted the overall response rate. All the three variables; management commitment (.767**), organizational safety culture (.713**) and regulatory factors (.372**) were positively related to SMS implementation. For management commitment; it was discovered that there is safety accountability of managers in ensuring all safety requirements are in place and both human and financial resources are allocated towards safe operations. Recommendations made include; creating safety awareness among personnel, clearly defining the roles of the accountable manager and making safety management a core business function. With organizational safety culture, study results revealed respondents exhibiting a sense of belonging within the aviation industry. Recommendations include; reporting of errors without fear of reprisal, access to the analyzed accident and incident reports and developing a safety information system accompanied by staff training on its use. For regulatory factors, it was discovered thatSMS trainings have been tailored towards making the personnel understand SMS and its relevance.Violations of the safety requirements by ATOs are subject to administrative reprimand, depending on nature of incident. Recommendations made include; CAA developing a mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of its training programs and reviewing its enforcement policy specifically aimed at supporting SMS implementation and ensuring that it harmonizes its stand on the policy, with all the stake holders.