States are required to develop a State Safety Program (SSP) in accordance with the ICAO International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in Annexes 1, 6, 8, 11, 13 and 14. A safety program is an integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at improving safety.The SSP includes safety activities that must be performed by the State, together with regulations and directives declared by the State in order to support its responsibilities concerning safe and efficient delivery of aviation activities in the State. It is important to understand the existing link between the implementation of a SMS by a service provider and the implementation of a SSP by the State. Although being distinct from each other, with each having a different goal, they are both heavily interlinked. The aim of the SSP is to combine elements of both prescriptive and performance based approaches to the management of safety. The underlying purpose of a SSP and also of a SMS is to identify occurrences and areas of safety concern before they develop into an actual accident or incident and to apply procedures to mitigate their effect.
Based on the ICAO SSP framework, the SSP is divided into four main components:
State Safety Policy and Objectives
State Safety Risk Management
State Safety Assurance
State Safety Promotion
Each of the above components is sub-divided into elements, which detail the specific sub-processes, specific activities or specific tools that the State needs to utilize to conduct the management of safety in a manner that combines prescriptive and performance based approaches and supports the implementation of SMS by service providers.