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Safety Management System, Safety Culture, Compliance, Regulation, Multi Stakeholder environments
Safety is at the heart of the aviation system, accident rates are on a steady downward trend with 2.1 accidents per million departures in 2016, representing the lowest annual aviation accident rate. It is predicted that globally the airline industry will grow, expecting 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035 (IATA, 2016). The airport domain is a complex socio technical environment where an airline receives a range of services and is the focal point for the convergence of ground activities, part of its role is creating the ‘safety picture’ and a ‘safety space’ for its industry customers to provide these services to aircraft operators. All operators (excluding ground-handling service providers) at European Union (EU) airports are regulated by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations and now all have Safety Management Systems in place. Using Dublin Airport as a case study, the paper explores safety culture and safety challenges amongst operators in the multi stakeholder context of Dublin airport’s airside operations. In particular, the paper argues that (i) the attitudes of airport stakeholders on the effectiveness of Safety Management Systems were positive with good indicators of an engaged safety culture, (ii) operators strive for safe airport operations as well as achieving compliance operations and (iii) attitudes towards multi stakeholder safety management depend on the primary relationship held by each party. Finally, the paper recommends strategies to be adopted to enhance and improve multi stakeholder safety culture at Dublin Airport.