Sudbury airport reinforces culture of safety: Margaret Menczel hired last September as manager of regulatory compliance and safety management systems.

AuthorKelly, Lindsay

Greater Sudbury Airport has brought on some new expertise to enhance safety at the facility.

Margaret Menczel was hired in September, 2018 as the airport's new manager of regulatory compliance and safety management systems.

It's a brand new position designed to keep the airport in line with Transport Canada's safety regulations and to ensure continuous improvement.

"Aviation safety is often difficult to see," Menczel said in an email. "It is not as easy to identify as wearing a safety vest, seatbelt or complying with a posted speed limit. Aviation safety is something we create by how we operate the airport."

That could include everything from managing wildlife to prevent collisions with aircraft to using winter maintenance activities to ensure aircraft can land, take off and manoeuvre on the airfield, she noted.

Canada is considered a leader in aviation safety, something Menczel attributes to Canadians' embrace of technology and innovation, as well as having a wealth of experienced pilots, skilled at flying through diverse climates and terrain.

She also points to the close proximity of the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is headquartered in Montreal.

"Most importantly, in my opinion, is how engaged the industry is in aviation safety and the relationship the industry has with Transport Canada," she said.

Airports nationwide have been mandated by Transport Canada since about 2009 to have Safety Management Systems (SMS) in place.

Transport Canada reports that, through technological improvements, the incidence of aviation-related accidents has levelled off over the last few decades.

The majority of modern-day accidents are attributable to human factors. And that's where Menczel and the SMS come in, to ensure the airport is up to date on all regulations and that safety management principles are "incorporated into the way we do business."

After graduating from Georgian College's aviation management co-op program, Menczel was hired on as a project assistant with Transport Canada before moving on to a management system specialist position.

In that role, she worked as an inspector, checking airlines and maintenance...

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