Aviation safety officer

Aviation safety officer article illustration


Aviation safety officers plan and develop safety procedures for aviation companies. They study safety regulations and restrictions relative to aviation company operations. Hence, they direct activities of personnel in order to safeguard the application of safety measures in compliance with regulations.

Aviation safety officers typically perform the following duties:

  • Develop and implement safety policies and procedures for aviation operations.
  • Conduct safety audits of aircraft and facilities to ensure compliance with regulations and standards.
  • Investigate accidents and incidents involving aircraft, and recommend corrective actions to prevent future accidents.
  • Provide training to aviation personnel on safety procedures, emergency response, and other related topics.
  • Work with other aviation professionals, such as pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance personnel, to promote safety and efficiency in aviation operations.
  • Keep up to date with changes in aviation regulations and technology.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aviation safety officer:

airport safety officer
airfield safety officer
aviation security officer
airport safety supervisor
transportation security officer
aviation security supervisor
airfield safety supervisor
airport security supervisor
flight safety officer
flight safety supervisor

Working conditions

Aviation safety officers typically work in an office environment, but they may also need to travel to airports and other aviation facilities to conduct safety audits and investigations. The job may involve some irregular hours, as aviation operations may occur outside of regular business hours. The work can be stressful and demanding, as aviation safety is a critical aspect of air travel.

Minimum qualifications

To become an aviation safety officer, a bachelor’s degree in aviation safety, aerospace engineering, or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require additional certifications or licenses, such as a pilot’s license or an air traffic control certification. Previous experience in aviation operations or safety is also highly desirable. Strong communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills are essential for success in this field.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Aviation safety officer is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Aviation safety officer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to aviation safety officer.

aeronautical information service officer
aviation data communications manager
airport maintenance technician
aviation inspector
air traffic controller

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of aviation safety officer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of aviation safety officer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

airport environment officer
aviation surveillance and code coordination manager
airside safety manager
aviation communications and frequency coordination manager
airport director

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of aviation safety officer.

  • Health and safety measures in transportation: The body of rules, procedures and regulations related to health and safety measures intended to prevent accidents or incidents in transportation.
  • Aviation standards and recommended practices: Know the official Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of ICAO, designed to assist in the management of aviation safety risks in order to reduce the number of aviation accidents and incidents.
  • Framework for a safety management system: The different types of content in a framework for a safety management system, which should include safety policy and objectives, safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion.
  • Airport safety regulations: Know airport safety regulations and instructions.
  • Common aviation safety regulations: The body of legislation and regulations that apply to the field of civil aviation at regional, national, European and International levels. Understand that regulations aimed at protecting citizens at all times in civil aviation; ensure that operators, citizens, and organisations comply with these rules.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of aviation safety officer.

  • Follow ethical code of conduct in transport services: Carry out transport services according to accepted principles of right and wrong. This includes principles of fairness, transparency, and impartiality.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Ensure data protection in aviation operations: Ensure that sensitive information is protected and used only for safety-related purposes in aviation.
  • Work in an aviation team: Work confidently in a group in general aviation services, in which each individual operates in their own area of responsibility to reach a common goal, such as a good customer interaction, air safety, and aircraft maintenance.
  • Adhere to standards of national and international safety programmes: Comply with national and international safety standards, e.g. in aviation. Adhere to standards of national and international safety programmes.
  • Stay alert: Stay focused and alert at all times; react quickly in the case of unexpected events. Concentrate and do not get distracted performing a task over a long period of time.
  • Report airport security incidents: Compose comprehensive reports on airport security incidents, such as the detaining of unruly travellers, confiscation of luggage items, or damaging of airport property.
  • Identify airport safety hazards: Spot threats related to security at the airport and apply procedures to counteract them in a quick, safe, and efficient way.
  • Implement safety management systems: Implement safety management systems in accordance with the frameworks of the state related to aviation, such as flying aeroplanes and helicopters, design of aeroplanes, and provision of air traffic services.
  • Follow industry codes of practice for aviation safety;: Follows industry codes of practice relating to aviation safety. Follow guidance material to adhere to the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Standards (ICAO), other aviation safety requirements, and the identified best practices.
  • Perform safety data analysis: Use different safety databases to perform analyses of information on actual or potential safety threats.
  • Carry out evacuation of airport in an emergency: Assist in the evacuation of airport passengers, staff, and visitors in emergency situations.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aviation safety officer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Airport operating environment: Thoroughly understand the airport operating environment, the operational characteristics, services, activities, and procedures of a general aviation airport service area, as well as of those of the suppliers, partners, and other airport agencies.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aviation safety officer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Apply conflict management: Take ownership of the handling of all complaints and disputes showing empathy and understanding to achieve resolution. To be fully aware of all Social Responsibility protocols and procedures, and to be able to deal with a problem gambling situation in a professional manner with maturity and empathy.
  • Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
  • Adapt to changing situations: Change approach to situations based on unexpected and sudden changes in people’s needs and mood or in trends; shift strategies, improvise and naturally adapt to those circumstances.
  • Show intercultural awareness: Show sensibility towards cultural differences by taking actions which facilitate positive interaction between international organisations, between groups or individuals of different cultures, and to promote integration in a community.
  • Tolerate stress: Maintain a temperate mental state and effective performance under pressure or adverse circumstances.

ISCO group and title

3119 – Physical and engineering science technicians not elsewhere classified

  1. Aviation safety officer – ESCO
  2. Aviation Safety Officer – Near Space Corporation
  3. Featured image: Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay
Last updated on May 9, 2023