Annex 19 – Safety Management


Developed by ICAO, the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) contained in the nineteen Technical Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also called Chicago Convention) are applied universally and produce a high degree of technical uniformity which has enabled international civil aviation to develop in a safe, orderly and efficient manner.


ICAO introduced the first version of the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) in 1997 by formalizing a series of conclusions and recommendations developed during an informal meeting between the Air Navigation Commission (ANC) and industry. The plan was used to guide and prioritize the technical work programme of the Organization. It was updated regularly until 2005 to ensure its continuing relevance.


In May 2005, another meeting between the ANC and industry identified a need for a broader plan that would provide a common frame of reference for all stakeholders. Such a plan would allow a more proactive approach to aviation safety and help coordinate and guide safety policies and initiatives worldwide to reduce the accident risk for commercial aviation. It was then decided that industry representatives (i.e., the Industry Safety Strategy Group (ISSG) whose members were Airbus, Boeing, Airports Council International, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization, International Air Transport Association, International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations and Flight Safety Foundation), would work together with ICAO to develop a common approach for aviation safety. The Global Aviation Safety Roadmap that was developed by the ISSG provided the foundation upon which the expansion of the Global Aviation Safety Plan was based.


While 2003 and 2004 were the safest years since the creation of ICAO in 1944, six major accidents in August and September 2005 claimed more lives than in all of 2004. From 20 to 22 March 2006, ICAO held in Montréal the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference on a Global Strategy for Aviation Safety (DGCA/06), which welcomed the development of the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap and recommended that ICAO develop an integrated approach to safety initiatives based on the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap which would provide a global framework for the coordination of safety policies and initiatives.


ICAO Safety Management Manual

(Doc 9859)

Further to that, ICAO embarked on a major revision of its Global Aviation Safety Plan, whose objectives are to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities worldwide irrespective of the volumes of air traffic and achieve a significant decrease in accident rates particularly in regions where these remain high. In order to support the implementation of the harmonized safety management requirements, the ICAO Safety Management Manual (SMM, Doc 9859) was first published in 2006; this manual also provides guidance material for the establishment of Safety Management System (SMS) requirements by States, as well as for SMS development and implementation by affected product and service providers. An ICAO Safety Management Systems (SMS) training course, specifically aimed at representatives from civil aviation administrations, was also developed. This manual is designed to support States in implementing an effective State Safety Programme (SSP) which is a key objective outlined in the Global Aviation Safety Plan (Doc 10004). This includes ensuring that service providers implement safety management systems (SMS) in accordance with the provisions of Annex 19. It focuses on the intended outcome of each Standard and Recommended Practice (SARP) and highlights the importance of each organization tailoring the implementation of safety management to fit their specific environment.


From 2006, Annexes 1, 6, 8, 11, 13 and 14 to the Chicago Convention were progressively revised around the introduction of two frameworks: the first one for the implementation and maintenance of a State’s Safety Programme (SSP); and the second for the implementation and maintenance of a service provider’s safety management system (SMS). The objective was to harmonize and extend provisions relating to safety management to all categories of aviation service providers, i.e., aircraft operators, air navigation service providers, certified aerodrome operators, maintenance organizations, organizations responsible for type design and/or assembly of aircraft and training organizations. The harmonized provisions called on States to establish a safety programme that requires aircraft operators, ATS service providers and aerodrome operators to have a safety management system in order to achieve an acceptable level of safety and to systematically manage safety in their operations. From 2008, a State Safety Programme (SSP) course was regularly held for regulators to provide States with the necessary guidance to develop and implement the SSP according to ICAO requirements.


In spring 2010, the Safety Fund (SAFE) was established by the Council with the intention to serve as a mechanism for the collection and use of voluntary contributions from States and other donors to support ICAO safety programmes in a responsible, consistent, transparent, efficient and timely manner. Voluntary contributions to SAFE will be accepted from ICAO Member States, international organizations, and public and private parties associated with international civil aviation and may be either general or specified. Subsequently, the International Financial Facility for Aviation Safety (IFFAS) established by the Council on 4 December 2002 was dissolved.

Projects that are funded under SAFE are prioritized to States and Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOOs) based on information that is available through existing mechanisms. These mechanisms include ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) continuous monitoring approach (CMA), ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), ICAO Regional Offices, etc., with special attention for the assistance given to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).


A recommendation of the High-level Safety Conference (HLSC) held in Montréal from 29 March to 1 April 2010 (HLSC/2010, attended by more than 600 participants, including Ministers and Directors General of Civil Aviation, from 150 Member countries as well as industry representatives) provided the impetus for the development of a new Annex dedicated to Safety Management.  The Conference recommended that the new Annex should contain safety responsibilities framed under the State Safety Programme, or SSP, the framework of which also included the implementation of safety management systems, commonly referred to as SMS for a number of aviation service providers. In 2011, in response to the HLSC, the Air Navigation Commission established the Safety Management Panel (SMP) to provide recommendations for the content and structure of Annex 19, the development of which would be a two-phased process. The SMP held its first special meeting in November 2011.


The Secretariat began the process of developing a new Annex to the Convention on International Civil Aviation dedicated to safety management, as well as revising guidance material on the implementation of State safety programmes and safety management systems. The new annex is expected to consolidate safety management responsibilities and processes currently contained in multiple annexes. It would also facilitate the integration of complex and interrelated State safety management functions.


A second meeting of the SMP was held from 13 to 17 February 2012, during which the Panel delivered its recommendations for the first edition of the new Safety Management Annex.


Font page of Annex 19 - Safety Management

On 25 February 2013, at the fourth meeting of its 198th Session, the ICAO Council adopted Annex 19 to the Chicago Convention dedicated to Safety Management. This new Annex consolidates existing provisions related to State safety programmes and safety management systems into a single Annex. The development of this new Annex was accomplished over the past three years through close collaboration between ICAO, its Member States and international organizations. The establishment of Annex 19 supports the continued evolution of a proactive strategy to improve safety. Annex 19 became effective on 15 July 2013 and applicable on 14 November 2013.


The first phase of Annex 19 involved the consolidation of existing Standards and Recommended Practices, currently contained in as many as six different Annexes, into a single new Annex; it serves as a practical one-stop resource for States and industry. Therefore, the focus of the first phase is to use existing requirements as the basis for the first edition of Annex 19, with modifications made as necessary for the purposes of clarity or harmonization. This approach is intended to ensure that the new Annex would be established expeditiously while maintaining continuity with current SSP and SMS requirements. The development of new requirements becomes the focus of the further phases once the new Annex becomes applicable.


Being the first new ICAO Annex in over 30 years, Annex 19 contains overarching provisions applicable to safety management functions related to, or in direct support of, the safe operation of aircraft and highlights the importance of safety management at the State level across multiple aviation domains. The new Annex complements existing ICAO safety-related programmes and activities, including the revised Global Aviation Safety Plan, the Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASGs), and ICAO’s safety management training offerings. With air traffic projected to double by 2025, this Annex supports the continued evolution of a proactive strategy to improve safety performance; the foundation of this proactive safety strategy is based on the implementation of a State Safety Programme (SSP) that systematically addresses safety risks.


The second High-level Safety Conference (HLSC/2015) was held in Montréal from 2 to 5 February 2015 and attended by more than 850 participants, including Ministers and Directors General of Civil Aviation, from 155 Member countries as well as industry or international organizations’ representatives, showing strong and united support for the ICAO’s near- and long-term strategic planning and priorities for global aviation safety. Besides forging global consensus on two particularly challenging emerging safety issues, i.e., flight tracking and conflict zones risk mitigation, the event also delivered clear affirmations for the objectives now being pursued in every world region under the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan. Also recognized was the instrumental coordinating role now being performed by ICAO’s Regional Aviation Safety Groups (RASGs), and that sector-wide safety performance is a critical prerequisite for the sustainable development of air transport and the social and economic development benefits it fosters in States and Regions. “Importantly, our Member States have reinforced their collective responsibility for aviation safety at this event, and that its enhancement will only continue to be possible through cooperative, collaborative and coordinated efforts among all stakeholders under the leadership of ICAO,” commented ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.


Further to First meeting of the Safety Management Panel together with the 14th meeting of Airworthiness Panel Working Group of the Whole and the Safety Information Protection Task Force relating to safety management, Amendment 1 to Annex 19 was developed providing new and amended SMS SARPs to facilitate implementation, including the addition of several explanatory notes. Amendment 1 also extends the applicability of an SMS to organizations responsible for the type design and manufacture of engines and propellers, which is facilitated by the recognition of these organizations in Annex 8. Finally, Amendment 1 provides enhanced protections to safety data and safety information as well as their sources. As a result of the adoption of Amendment 1 by the Council on 2 March 2016, the second edition of Annex 19 was published. This edition reflects the extensive nature of the amendment which completes the second phase of the development of the Annex. Amendment 1 became effective on 11 July 2016 and applicable on 7 November 2019.


Safety is aviation’s top priority. The Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), ICAO’s strategy for the continuous improvement of aviation safety, aims to continually reduce aviation-related fatalities, and the risk of fatalities, by guiding the development of a harmonized safety strategy and the implementation of aviation safety plans at the regional and national levels.


ICAO has been working collaboratively with States and other key stakeholders to develop the 2020-2022 edition of the GASP, which will set forth ICAO’s Safety Strategy for the next decade. A draft of the 2020-2022 edition of the GASP was presented at the Thirteenth Air Navigation Conference (AN-Conf/13, held in Montreal from 9 to 19 October 2018), as part of the dynamic consultation process aimed at developing a meaningful and effective Safety Strategy.


To the travelling public, safety is a given on every flight. However, arriving safely at a destination requires continuous efforts from the aviation community. It is essential that States, regions (including regional entities such as the regional aviation safety groups (RASGs) and regional safety oversight organizations -RSOOs-) and industry (including international organizations and service providers) work together toward the goal of safe operations. In line with ICAO’s Safety Strategic Objective, the GASP outlines key safety enhancement initiatives at the global level. The GASP outlines roles and responsibilities for States, regions and industry in managing organizational challenges and operational safety risks. The global aviation safety roadmap, presented in the GASP, serves as an action plan to assist the aviation community in achieving the GASP goals through a structured, common frame of reference for all relevant stakeholders.


The vision of the draft 2020-2022 edition of the GASP is to achieve and maintain the aspirational safety goal of zero fatalities in commercial operations by 2030 and beyond, which is consistent with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The year 2030 has been selected as the timeframe for reaching this goal, as it is by this date that traffic volume is forecast to double.


United Nations New York – 9 February 1955 - Fleetwood raised cachet; Douglas DC-4 aircraft.

This issue commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the interim Agreement and the first PICAO meeting, and honours the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 1955.

Fleetwood began producing First Day Covers in 1941 with the Vermont Statehood issue. Mystic acquired Fleetwood in 2007 and is proud to continue its tradition of excellence today. Many Fleetwood cachets (designs) are full-color works of original art. Most Fleetwood First Day Covers feature interesting information about the stamp subject. Fleetwood First Day Covers are produced for both commemorative and regular issue U.S. stamps of all denominations.




12 June 1978 - United Nations New York – Safety in the Air.

Various first day covers highlighting ICAO’s important programme of Safety in the Air (in French: Sécurité aérienne).

Additional covers on this subject are displayed at the following link:

United Nations : ICAO Safety in the Air.


12 June 1978 - United Nations New York – Safety in the Air

Souvenir card (with full colour litho illustrating complete stamp set) displaying the various stamps issued in 1955 and 1978 by the United Nations in honour of ICAO. Statement and facsimile signature by the Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim.


12 June 1978 - First Day Cover by Artopages: Safety in Air.

Error on the UN emblem in the cachet: the design still shows the early unofficial UN emblem, which was replaced by the currently known emblem approved by the UN General Assembly on 7 December 1946.



Commemorative cover issued for the Directors General of Civil Aviation Conference (DGCA/06),

held in Montréal, Canada from 20 to 22 March 2006.

Autographed by Dr. Assad Kotaite, Chairman of the Conference and President of the ICAO Council, and Dr. Taïeb Chérif, Secretary General.

During this conference, Directors General of the 189 Contracting States of ICAO assessed the current status of aviation safety, identified ways to achieve significant improvements and developed a safety framework for the 21st century – a Global Strategy for Aviation Safety – in an assertive, coordinated and transparent manner.


An excerpt from the texts of this webpage and the cover commemorating the 2006 DGCA Conference were used in the book referred hereafter, pages 10 and 11:

The Safety Management Systems and their Origins - Insights from the Aviation Industry

By Corinne Bieder - ISBN 9781032308937

Published on 28 November 2022 by CRC Press - 202 Pages



First Day Cover (front and back) issued by the United Nations (UN) on 24 October 2016 (UN Day), highlighting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.