CANSO Global Safety Conference 2023- Meet Nicoli Gabbidon – Jamaica CAA

Ahead of the CANSO Global Safety Conference, we had a conversation with Ms Nicoli Gabbidon, Director, Safety and Compliance, Jamaica CAA. Ms Gabbidon will be speaking on a few panels on the topic of Safety Management System and presenting on the work of the CANSO NextGen SMS Work Group. The CANSO Global Safety Conference will take place in Dublin, Ireland on 27-30 November. Find out more about the conference here.

Drawing from your role as the Director of Safety and Compliance at Jamaica CAA, how has participation in the Safety Management System Maturity Exercise influenced safety practices within Jamaica’s aviation sector?

Participation in the CANSO SMS Maturity Assessment is a strategic activity which has proven invaluable in elevating organisation’s awareness of safety practices that are good. The assessment also provides an independent insight into areas that require improvement. Continued participation in the SMS Maturity Assessment aligns with our commitment to excellence, fosters a culture of continuous improvement, and positions us to actively participate and contribute to the global aviation community.

Given Jamaica’s involvement in global safety assessments, what challenges have you observed that are common across different regions, and how has this global perspective contributed to addressing those challenges?

Jamaica has participated for the last three years in the SMS Assessment.

I believe that we are all interested improving to our SMSs. Such improvements are slow at times difficult to quantify, especially to an executive team that may be anticipating a move from Level B to Level C in the maturity assessment. The global perspective, however, is quite powerful in demonstrating organisational successes that can be had from continuously investing in safety.

As part of the NextGen SMS Work Group, what advancements or practices do you find particularly promising or innovative for enhancing safety management systems in our industry?

Aviation is often described as dynamic, and this description truly speaks to the nature of the industry. This dynamism is evident in technological advancements, increasing demand for air travel and increasing automation. Change management and risk management are critical for successfully navigating these changes and enhancing safety management overall. We will certainly be seeing a need for new safety measures and processes.

Considering the need for compliance with safety standards, how do you navigate the balance between operational challenges, adhering to established safety protocols, and fostering innovation in safety management within Jamaica CAA?

Currently, the JCAA is focussed on compliance rather than innovation. As a government owned and operated entity there is greater emphasis on compliance and conformance. Opportunities for innovation may surface and we will certainly embrace them in the future when our safety management system is more robust.