Case Study: Region of Waterloo Airport Safety Management Systems and Audits

Jonathan Brun

Download this case study in PDF Format.

At Waterloo International Airport, Nimonik increased compliance by improving auditing and legal monitoring.

“We love that they were so responsive to our needs!”  – Currie Russel, Regulatory Affairs at Region of Waterloo International Airport

The Challenge

Currie Russel needs to ensure compliance with Canadian Airport regulations at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

His Responsibilities

  • Aeronautics regulations;
  • safety audits; and
  • legislation monitoring.

About their Operations

  • The Region of Waterloo International Airport must comply with Canada’s Aeronautics Act and stay up-to-date with legislation. As one of the 15 busiest airports in Canada, there is no room for compliane issues at their operations.
  • Moreover, Currie has to ensure compliance with internal audits, corporate manuals and plans.
  • In 2005, legislation came into force requiring all certified airports in Canada to implement Safety Management Systems within their operations. This effectively makes the airport operator responsible for demonstrating to Transport Canada that they are compliant with all regulations applicable under their airport operating certificate.
  • The Airport was using pen and paper, with no technology in place, no mobile tools to work in the field and no automated legislation monitoring system.
  • “We needed a solution that would allow us to track activities electronically, assign tasks to responsible managers, and to quickly and effectively carry out audit activities.” Currie explained.

The Search

  • Currie was looking for a fast and simple one-stop shop to legal compliance.
  • After conducting a web search, Currie found our solution: “I noticed that one of the users shown on the website was NAV Canada. This got me interested in exploring the tool further”.
  • “Although Nimonik was developed as a tool for Environmental, Health and Safety management, it became apparent that we could use it for our own Airport Safety management purposes.”

The Solution

Currie knew that Nimonik was the perfect fit for his needs. “We did not really need to look any further.  Also the fact that Nimonik had an iPad application to support it, made it all the more valuable to us. “

When asked, ‘what did you find most attractive about Nimonik?”, Currie responded, “we love web-based solutions that don’t use paper and provide the logging and notification features we need to keep us accountable.”

Currie was immediately attracted by:

  • The paperless system;
  • The notifications and updates;
  • The mobile audits; and
  • The accountability provided by the logs.

The Implementation

According to Currie, setting up his account was a breeze: “We were able to add our list of documents for review in very little time. It was also easy to find and add the regulations we need to track.”

Our team worked close with Currie to make sure all of their requirements were satisfied: “In the airports world, we have documents that come out on a non-standard review cycle (56 days). At first, Nimonik did not allow us to enter this cycle as it only permitted weekly, monthly or annual cycles. After contacting Nimonik’s president, the system was quickly modified to allow us to enter custom review cycles. We love that they were so responsive to our needs!”

During the critical phase of implementation, both teams worked together to make the transition smooth and efficient.

The Results

Currie saw the benefits of a paperless system immediately. He managed to save time while increasing compliance at the airport: “Before Nimonik, we used to have to circulate a sheet of paper with documents that staff had to review. Sometimes the sheet of paper was difficult to track down or took a long time to return to my desk! With Nimonik, there is no more sheet of paper and everything is logged instantly.”

“Transport Canada conducted their first program validation inspection of our fully implemented Safety Management System. We do not expect to have any findings resulting from this inspection. Nimonik is part of the set of tools that helps us to achieve this position.”

Currie can gladly claim that his airport is now a leader in legal compliance: “Other airports are starting to notice our use of Nimonik. As they continue to develop, implement and further refine their Safety Management Systems, I trust that many others will find Nimonik to be a useful and inexpensive tool for helping them to demonstrate regulatory compliance.”