Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport claims the title as “the busiest and most efficient airport in the world.1 ” A global gateway, it offers nonstop service to more than 150 domestic and 70 international destinations. ATL also holds the distinction of being the first airport in the world to serve more than 100 million passengers in a single year, and it meets their shopping, dining and service needs through a concessions program that features more than 300 commercial venues1 .

An airport of this size requires a robust and flexible Safety Management System (SMS), and for this, ATL counts on Civix. The airport has used Civix’s Airport Safety & Operations Compliance System (ASOCS) since 2009, and in late 2021, it began work to integrate Civix’s Safety Management System (SMS). Today, ATL is using SMS software to not only comply with regulations, but also to report and mitigate safety issues before they become costly.

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The SMS we’ve developed with Civix has improved efficiency, ensured compliance, saved costs, and of course, made our airport safer.

– Scott Ayers
Aviation Safety Management System Manager at ATL


Ayers says rich data is essential to a robust SMS program, and this system delivers.

“The flexibility of Civix’s SMS allowed us to standardize data collection across the entire airport and ensure we are collecting rich data to drive KPIs (Key Performance Indicators),” he said.

Ayers and his team went through an exhaustive exercise to standardize the data elements on all the SMS forms – such as for Foreign Object Debris (FOD), Hazardous Material Spill, Work Orders, Notice of Violations, and Wildlife – so that each has the same drop-down hierarchy and nomenclature.

“We identified every location on the airport, both airside and landside along with security locations, to create a comprehensive list – from the primary location down to deeper and deeper levels of detail,” said Ayers. “We’ve listed every access road and every gate. It’s been a real game-changer.”

Standardizing data collection in this way allows ATL to spot trends and make informed decisions quickly and easily.

Atlanta-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport


With ASOCS and SMS seamlessly integrated, all data comes together through an online dashboard that allows Ayers to make fast, well-informed decisions.

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Airport executives are relying on SMS managers to tell them what’s going on at the airport and the associated risks. This system enables me to tap into an abundance of data to tell that story.

– Scott Ayers

Not long ago, ATL experienced a series of surface incidents including several runway incursions. Ayers used the SMS for risk assessment, documentation, and mitigation efforts. The system guided him along a process through which he was able to identify hazards, see existing controls, analyze risks, and ultimately, choose mitigation efforts.

“The SMS showed us that tug drivers were crossing the zipper marking in a certain area, ending up in an active taxi lane,” he said. “The system helped us assess the risk and decide on the appropriate mitigations, which included installing surface painted signs, low profile barricades, and lamps,” he said. “And records of these projects – including photos, status, comments, costs, and funding sources – are accessible through ASOCS. It makes it easy to track the mitigations to make sure they’re working.”


Ayers uses the SMS to track and manage reports in real time. He’s able to document hazards, change their status, and if an investigation is required, he can assign staff.

One area where this has been especially valuable is FOD management. Through the system, ATL can break down FOD by type, location, and type-by-source to better target mitigation efforts.


Through integrations, SMS reporting can be enriched with outside data feeds. For ATL, Notice of Violation (NOV) reports include companies operating at the airport kept up to date through their credentialing system, allowing them to report on violations by company.

This integration allows ATL to manage violations, tracking them by type, company, and individual.

The SMS is also integrated with Microsoft Power BI, an interactive data visualization software product.


Civix’s SMS is the industry-leading safety compliance solution. It follows the FAA’s new SNPRM – Safety Management Systems for Airports – and the new SMS Final Rule issued in Feb. 2023. It comes with a guaranteed no cost upgrade to comply with any future ruling. It provides the information airports need to identify safety risks step-by-step and the ability to demonstrate risks proactive action being taken to mitigate those risks. It integrates with event logging/Part 139 software and provides a central point of operational safety monitoring, risk management, and compliance.


With decades of experience and a deep understanding of airport processes, Civix has the only comprehensive solution for managing airport operations, finance, and administration, eliminating the need to piece together numerous point solutions from various vendors. Without barriers or friction between activities, airport staff can quickly identify opportunities for growth and efficiency, address real-time challenges, and make the best-informed decisions.


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