Runway management is dependent on type of operations.
It is of vital importance to manage processes, both for regulatory compliance and safe operation, as a tool to evaluate how effective job-performance descriptions are. During prior years without SMS the confidence level of how well processes were functioning was in all cases zero. There was no method, or tools available to assess how well the systems worked. There were no data collected to measure the confidence level of any processes, or give guidance of potential malfunctioning processes. It was assumed that it worked well as long as there were no accidents. However, after every major accident a lesson-learned statement was issued to explain the lack of known process effectiveness.
At an airport, runway inspections are conducted regularly throughout the day, depending on size and complexity of the airport. Managing these inspections are operational management and must be an onsite activity. Management of the processes itself is data collection and can be administered from a remote site. The processes include established timelines, a check list, runway items to be check and other critical safety conditions. This process would require all areas to be checked and reported as acceptable or non-acceptable, or with variances in between. Since there is a set timeline, or a goal for process to be executed, there is an open loop to be closed with the submission of report within a few
minutes after inspection is done. At the conclusion of submitting the report, there is data available to process for management for effectiveness of the Strategic Process System. Other options for runway inspection processes could be the use of drones, flying the approach checking for obstacles and flying the runway checking for Foreign Object Debris (FOD), or in the form of satellite sweeps of approach and runway.
SMS is an onsite process verification of how the job is done.
Remote Management of a Safety Management System requires a remote Strategic Process System, combined with onsite aviation Safety Management System.