Aviation Research Paper on Strategic Plan to Improve Aviation Safety in Ireland



The global air transport system is based on principles and guidelines aimed at promoting and enhancing safety within the aviation industry. The aviation industry is however constantly evolving to accommodate innovation and advanced technologies. Thus, the aviation safety measures undergo changes in order to be improved and enhanced accordingly based on various aviation activities. The aviation activities include monitoring key safety indicators and trends while implementing programs and principles aimed at addressing safeties. Policy and standardization initiating activities are also evaluated in order to assess and analyze the safety measures across the global aviation industry. However, aviation industries across the globe vary greatly mainly in relation to strategic management. For example, the Irish State Safety Program in Ireland ensures steady and enhanced safety measures are developed and implemented in the country. However, some of these measures vary in comparison to Canadian and European aviation safety regulations. They differ as each global nation seeks to achieve them while focusing on diverse factors. These factors include availability of resources across the aviation industry to implement the safety standard measures. The risks associated with a particular aviation industry also determine how strategic managers utilize resources to reduce them and increase safeties. It is therefore crucial for aviation industry strategic managers to analyze and evaluate measures undertaken in developing and implementing safety measures across the Ireland air transport system (ICAO 2013, p.3).

In Ireland, strategic managers across the State Safety Program inclusive of Irish Aviation Authority State Safety Plan are tasked in improving aviation safeties. State Safety Program develops safety measures implemented across Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). These regulations are formulated by stakeholders within the Irish aviation industry safety regulation division in order to reduce incidents and accidents. The aviation risks can be categorized into systematic, national, and global. Ultimately, strategic managers ought to ensure these aviation risks are minimized through a package of safety regulations implemented under the State Safety Plan. This research will therefore focus on the Irish air transport system. It will discuss the country’s aviation industry and the safety measures formulated and implemented to improve and enhance air transport. The opinions formed and discussed in this research will be based on personal and researched views. However, they will accurately and reliably be aligned towards the Irish aviation industry (IAA 2014, p. 4).


Contributions from the airport industry are crucial for socio and economic growth. Both capital and human resources contribute towards socio, economic, and environmental growth and development. It is therefore vital to ensure secure, effective, safe, efficient, and sustainable aviation operations are maintained. This can guarantee these resources are protected, safeguarded and utilized maximally to achieve better growth and development. With regards to aviation operations, they are maintained on regional, national, and global levels. This is due to the diverse levels of risks they face. This research therefore aims at focusing on aviation operations in Ireland. It will discuss the various systematic, national, and global safety regulations implemented in the Irish aviation industry by strategic managers to enhance safeties.

 On a global level, the most strategic objective is aligned towards achieving and enhancing aviation safety. However, various coordinated activities assist in achieving this strategic objective. This research paper will therefore focus on these activities. It will compare and contrast with various national safety regulations implemented across global regions and aviation industries. This will be crucial as it will assist in identifying strengths and weaknesses across the Irish aviation industry’s safety strategic management. Consequently, the findings will be applied to modify, enhance and/formulate newly innovated safety regulations. These safety principles and measures however will relate to Ireland’s aviation industry. The country and aviation industry accumulate resources necessary in adopting and implementing the safety regulations. Thus, it is crucial to ensure they are enforceable, relevant, reliable, and viable.

        A sample of the Irish aviation licence


Strategic Position and Critical Analysis

The current strategic position regarding aviation safety in Ireland can be analyzed based on the number of accidents and incidents both fatal and non-fatal recorded in the country. In Ireland State, aviation accidents and incidents can be registered under mandatory and voluntary confidential reporting systems. This is determined by applying an approach analyzing the accident’s and incident’s risks in order to evaluate measures that can be applied in minimizing aviation injuries, damages, and fatalities. An annual safety performance review is conducted to highlight commonly occurring aviation risks in order to formulate safeguarding regulations to counter them (Kevin 2013, p. 11).

In 2013, Air Operators Certificate (AOC) holders in Ireland reported the following aviation risks. Foremost, the holders noted human crews are responsible for various factors increasing aviation risks. Consequently, mid-air collisions were reported to pose aviation risks since 2011 in Ireland. The collisions were coupled with laser strikes posing healthcare and safety hazards within the country’s air transport industry. These risks were described as highly dangerous, damaging, and fatal. The Air Operators Certificate holders also listed cabin safety, system failures, and bird strikes as factors contributing to aviation risks. However, they were described as low aviation risks.

Thus, strategic managers should formulate safety regulations aligned towards minimizing and eliminating aviation risks. For example, measures aimed at eliminating system failures and enhancing cabin safety should be formulated and implemented across the aviation industry. Conversely, the existing safety measures and regulations can be improved. They can also be evolved and enhanced in order to reduce mid air collisions and strikes. Conducting an aviation risk analysis should therefore assist in evaluating the current aviation safety measures. The findings can be applied to develop practical provisions. These provisions can address the current issues arising from system failure in an attempt to offer better commercial air transport services in the future (Kevin 2013, p. 19).

Deficiencies across the Irish aviation industry are diverse. They are highlighted adequately in the Safety Performance Review published in 2013. The various aviation deficiencies are discussed in the 4-year strategic plan to reduce high and low aviation risks. This is an attempt to increase safeties across the air transport industry in the country as well as globally. The plan asserts there are at least seven hundred and forty five commercial aircrafts providing air transport in Ireland. They conduct more than six hundred and eighty flights per year. The review therefore reveals a consistent growth in the number of air transport services the Irish aviation industry is able to provide annually. It also translates to an increase in aviation risks. Ireland participated in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to determine the number of aviation accidents and incidents reported. The participation revealed Ireland is more mature and committed in ensuring aviation safeties are maintained than any other European nation. Thus, Air Operators Certificate holders regulating aviation operations using large, corporate, and light aircrafts as well as helicopters asserted fewer accidents and incidents were reported in 2013 (Kevin 2013, p.11).

Air Operators Certificate recorded less than ten occurrences in relation to accidents and incidents across the Irish aviation industry. The report evaluated risks posed by bird strikes, maintenance of cabin systems, regular checkups to avoid mechanical failures or malfunctions, and laser strikes. The report notes that, system failures and malfunctions attributed towards a large number of aviation risks. The risks were rated below ten translating to low incidents posing little insecurities or lack of air transport safeties. Shining or striking lasers were however reported to cause regular aviation risks. Laser strikes refer to optical devices with a very high concentration of light beams in a single colour. The review finally noted that, accidents and incidents occurring during maintenance of the aircrafts were rated as very low. They hardly jeopardise the security measures implemented to protect people on board. However, they are more likely to cause damages on the aircraft (Kevin 2013, p. 57).

The key safety indicators defined by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) characterize UEROCONTROL safety measures. The measures are based on occurrences causing and contributing towards the rising aviation accidents and incidents. The report therefore utilizes them to categorize aviation risks including level busts, runway incursions, as well as separation minima and airspace infringements. These risks are applied to determine and assess the various circumstances leading to an aviation accident or incident.  For example, airspace infringements have been on the rise since 2010. As a result, the country classified them as activities posing severe risks on the nation’s aviation industry. Consequently, the Irish aviation industry and the European Commercial Aviation Safety Team (ECAST) collaborated in developing and implementing a management action plan. The plan was aimed at reducing the infringement risks contributing towards the aviation risks. The plan mainly relied on reducing airspace frequencies. However, it also provided various recommendations developed in support of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) (Kevin 2013, p. 53).

For example, the first recommendation aimed at reducing level busts. Other recommendations proposed more effective and efficient control of air traffic to avoid aircrafts ascending or descending uncontrollably. Thus, ineffective avoidance of air collisions and lateral navigations errors are also vital in reducing level busts. Consequently, increasing airborne aircrafts separated on minimum vertical and horizontal distances can reduce aircraft collisions. The separation minima infringements occurring from wake turbulences can also be greatly reduced enhancing aviation safeties (Kevin 2013, p. 53).

International Civil Aviation Organization asserts runway incursions are major aviation risks in relation to the damaging and fatal consequences. They occur at aerodromes due to an incorrect presence of people, vehicles, buildings, and aircrafts within designated areas for landing and takeoff. The report focuses on runway incursions in Ireland reported in 2010 and 2013 revealing an increment especially in 2011.  The review asserts new technologies in the Dublin Control Tower could have also caused the increments. However, it also emphasized on the adoption of new technologies applied to increase incursions in order to enhance safeties (ICAO 2013, p. 3).

However, the strategic plan falls short of expectations as it fails to include other measures and initiatives able to enhance aviation securities. According to Ian, Doug, Anne, Michael, and Sarah (2014, p. 2) aviation structures, operations, processes, and agencies determine safety measures across the air transport industry. It is therefore crucial to ensure various agencies, departments, and operations across the Irish air transport industry have a clear way of communication. Consequently reforms should be applied in relation to safety matters. However, they should be developed in alignment to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Ireland. The departments and agencies should streamline operations to ensure communication frameworks in the industry are at par. Practical and impractical aviation challenges and risks can therefore be reduced if aviation stakeholders adopt problematic adjustments. Philosophical, technological, and conceptual practical can therefore be implemented for two reasons. Foremost, they can be analyzed to determine compensation fees should an aviation risk happen causing damages and destructions. Consequently, they can be applied to ensure aviation crews across the air transport industry respect and comply with consistently evolving roles, responsibilities principles, and guidelines. Thus, they can increase aviation’s supervision activities such as maintenance of systems and machines. As a result, aviation risks in relation to accidents and incidents across global air transport systems can be reduced and eliminated.

Strategic Choice and Best Practices

Commercial and domestic aviation operations require scheduling to avoid accidents and incidents. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) asserts accidents have reduced due to various reasons indicating positive trends in relation to air transport. In 2013, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recorded a decline in aviation accidents by at least thirteen percent. This translates to a reduction of air transport accidents from three to two million departures. In 2013, one hundred and seventy three accidental fatalities were recorded during commercial schedules. In 2012, more than sixty five percent fatalities were recorded. Thus, the aviation industry and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aim at achieving high levels of safety travels. However, this requires cooperation among stakeholders striving to ensure the air transport system is safer and reliable. Expanding the air transport system have attributed towards declining aviation accidents and incidents. It has enabled seamless cooperation and communications among aviation stakeholders. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) collaborates with various organizations both domestically and internationally to improve safety measures. These organizations include Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASGS) and Regional Safety Oversight Organization (RSOOs) (ICAO 2013, p. 21).

A table showing reduction in aviation accidents

They promote various safety measures aimed at improving and enhancing the air transport systems. They provide training and support aimed at addressing safety measures while partnering with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member states. Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standardized and conducted audited protocols formulated during the Chicago Convention. Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) also established a convention aimed at improving the aviation industry. The protocols address the following areas in relation to the air transport system; aerodromes, airworthiness, licensing, legislation, organization, air navigation services, and accident investigation. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provides the following recommendations as best practices in producing effective national aviation safety plans. More than twenty percent of aviation accidents and incidents relate to events associated with runway safety measures. Coupled with loss of control during flights and controlled flight into terrains, the accidents are rated as highly risky. Observing runway safety measures can reduce aviation accidents and fatalities. Consequently, more than thirty percent aviation accidents are attributed towards loss of control in flight occurrences (ICAO 2013, p. 23).

Aircrafts should be flown into terrains through controlled manners in accordance to crew’s description of the situation. For example, the crew is trained to be aware of the situation while focusing on overshoots, undershoots and collision in order to avoid them. However, they should also ensure obstacles are eliminated as they hinder safe take off and landing. Coupled with excursions and incursions as well as training on how to land safely during hard events, these measures promote aviation safeties. Thus, to achieve runway safety it is important to combine with ground safety.  Operational damage on the other hand involves assessing sustained aircraft damages. The damages can be acquired from foreign object debris, system failure, and gear collapse. Turbulence can also result into incapacitation leading into on and in board fatalities as well as external interferences (ICAO 2013, p. 27).

 A table showing reduced aviation accidents from laser strikes

A graph showing number of airspace infringements

The Irish safety plan follows these guidelines to improve aviation’s best practices. The plan addresses at least thirty eight issues affecting the country’s air transport system. More than one hundred and thirty actions associated with SSP have been implemented since 2010 aligned to the four pillars relating to aviation security. The pillars address safety policy, risk, management and assurance. Safety Management System (SMS) ensures aviation services are systematically identified. This includes identifying aviation hazards and risks in order to formulate safety measures that can control them. This further provides effective and efficient maintenance assurances. The Irish civil system is aligned towards the EASA rulemaking program tasked in providing safety performance indicators. These refer to metrics applied in expressing levels of safety performances across the aviation industry. They are linked to various targets and standards developed under the country’s civil aviation industry. Thus, they are relevant and reliable in ensuring the air transport system is improved and enhanced. At a state level, safety methodologies are implemented to ensure both traditional and modern regulations are complimented (Kevin 2013, p. 25).

The European Union provides various revised aviation regulations in relation to aerodromes in commercial aviation operations. They relate to air crews and operations as they promote airworthiness improving safeties. In Europe, a published guideline is utilized across the aviation industry to promote and enhance best practices and safeties.  Currently, they are available across various websites.  Thus, the Irish safety plan should also be revised and uploaded across various websites. Expanding knowledge in relation to various measures that can improve aviation safeties is crucial. The general public lack knowledge on aviation operations. They ought to acknowledge addition of signs in aerodromes coupled with vicinity highlighting high noise areas are measures to increase aviation safeties. Pilots should watch out for warning signs such as bird and laser watch as well as low aircrafts flying to avoid collisions. Consequently, they lack confidence in the aviation the General Aviation Safety Council of Ireland (GASCI) community. It was established in 2012 with stakeholders tasked in coordinating various persons and organizations aiming to promote aviation safeties. Thus, it identifies flight safety risks in order to formulate measures that can reduce and eliminate them. It relies on education, experience, training, and support to be effective. However, it should utilize the online platform to expand its operations and improve its mandates. It should acknowledge the general public can provide accurate, reliable, and viable reports relating to the aviation industry. The reports can therefore be utilized to formulate safety occurrences guaranteeing free and fair manners in handling the air transport operations. The enforcement policy should be utilized to outline various procedures and safety event measures in a consistent aviation cultural environment (Kevin 2013, p. 31).

An image of a pilot struck by a laser

The Irish safety plan relies on aerodromes in conducting risk assessments such as bird and laser strikes. During the breeding season, both bird strikes and traffic levels increase. This is coupled with manmade risks including carriage of instruments posing security risks in a flight. Appropriate notifications and procedures such as educating the aircraft crew on how to avoid racing pigeons can reduce aviation risks. Malicious laser strikes however continue posing security risks across the Irish aviation industry. Europe has also witnessed an increased number of aircrafts targeted with laser strikes. They result to various injuries including damaged eyesight. Pilots without the ability to fly an aircraft due to laser strikes endanger lives as distractions are increased. The Irish security department should therefore investigate malicious laser strikes and formulate measures that can reduce and eliminate them. Without laser strikes, pilots are enable to undertake safe landing and takeoff. Consequently, the number of damaged aircrafts can reduce. More so, pilots’ eyesight is protected avoiding fatal and damaging accidents and incidents (Kevin 2013, p. 31).

An aircraft accident due to poor eyesight

Monitoring aviation operations is also vital as it ensures risks are identified and control measures employed. The digital flight data monitors should be mandatory as they are certified and more effective. They should monitor aircraft details to avoid system failures and overweighs.  Corrective actions are applied when a risk is identified. Without monitoring, it can be challenging to regulate aviation operations. More so, it can be challenging to identify aviation risks and employ remedial actions. Risk precursors are therefore vital in implementing mitigation operations. The Irish aviation industry should therefore be streamlined in accordance to the European Authorities Coordination Group on Flight Data Monitoring (EAFDM). This can enable runway excursions to be identified and resolved. It can also enable controlled flights into terrains and loss of control in flights as well as mid air collisions to be monitored and effective safety measures applied (Kevin 2013, p. 31).


ICAO asserts federal regulations should compliment aviation guidelines in improving and enhancing air transport security.  For example, the Model Civil Aviation Safety Act and Regulations (MCARs) are not considered as comprehensive in increasing aviation safeties across United States. Thus, aviation safety measures lacking technical effectiveness to protect from various risks including air collisions need federal compliments. The federal laws provide complimenting measures as they guarantee investigations in case of an accident will be thorough. They also guarantee that, legislative laws aimed at increasing security measures across the air transport industry are implemented. Federal laws should be applied in reviewing safety measures across global aviation industries (IAA 2014, p. 34).


  The aviation industry is large and consistently growing and expanding. Consequently, the aviation operations are developing. As a result, aviation risks are increasing. Aviation accidents and incidents are cannot be avoided. However, they can be decreased or minimized to save lives and protect aircrafts from damages. The general public demands being safe while receiving high quality aviation services. Thus, they should also be included in providing insight on how improve aviation safeties. Improving aviation safeties requires an extensive structure with reviewed recommendations to provide the best aviation practices. The current safety measures are effective. However, they should be reviewed and improved to eliminate limitations and ineffectiveness. The stakeholders across the aviation industry should invest on the following issues. Foremost, aviation operations should be based on high qualities and standards. Thus, the air transport industry should employ trained, qualified and experienced personnel. The personnel should be fully equipped with skills, resources, and equipment aimed at improving security and safeness. Ultimately, simple safety measures should be implemented to handle complicated aviation risks.


Ian, H., Doug, F., Anne, J., Michael, Q & Sarah, G 2014, Aviation Safety Regulation Review, University of New South Wales.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 2013, State of Global Aviation Safety: Evolving Toward a Risk-based Aviation Safety Strategy, ICAO Report.

Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) 2014, State Safety Plan 2014-2017, Irish Aviation Authority Safety Regulation Division.

Kevin H 2013, Annual Safety Performance of Aviation in Ireland, Copyright Irish Aviation Authority.