Air Traffic Control Services Ltd (ATCSL) is responsible for the safe movement of over of 120,000 aircraft per year and over 6 million passengers at Liverpool, Doncaster, Durham and Carlisle airports.  Having recently undergone a phase of expansion ATCSL wanted to update their SMS to incorporate industry best practices in risk analysis and safety management. Also critical was the need to provide consistency across all of their sites. After seeing a presentation by the CAA on BowTie and how that was being used, they contacted Across Safety to explore options.

Project Objectives

  • Be industry leaders in safety risk management
  • Update the risk analysis and safety management system to one that is regarded as industry best practice and can be deployed across all sites
  • Identify where strengths and weaknesses lie to better direct and focus resources
  • Implement a safety management system that can be used by all levels and post holders from senior management to controllers and engineers

How Across Safety Development helped

  • A 2 day BowTie in Aviation Safety Management course was delivered at ATCSL headquarters at Liverpool airport including case studies tailored to suit the key operating activities
  • Following the initial training, Across Safety led workshops to develop BowTie models covering ATCSL’s major risks. This included coaching on the best practice principles learned during the training, identification and focus on critical risk controls and a review of barrier performance
  • Reviewed occurrence reports to ensure the new risk models were relevant and that learnings from those events had been incorporated
  • Identified Safety Performance Indicators and developed barrier based audit questions to collect pro-active data on the effectiveness of critical barriers
  • Provided a SOP template for integration into the Safety Management Manual
  • Provided ongoing post-project support on effective use of BowTieXP software features


  1. Fast tracked development of the BowTie models.

Within a week, management, controller and engineering teams had all received the training, and were contributing towards the development of risk models via both onsite and remotely led workshops. The subsequent suite of BowTies cover all major operational risk areas and have been tailored for use at Liverpool, Durham and Doncaster airports

  1. Positive feedback from the CAA.

During a scheduled CAA audit following the BowTie implementation project, ATCSL were praised for their use of the methodology and for taking the initiative to become leaders in safety management best practice

  1. Safety engagement.

The BowTie workshops brought together Subject Matter Experts from across the organisation in a collaboration where safety was the number one priority. The highly visual nature of the resulting BowTies make them an ideal communication tool thus promoting and supporting engagement across all levels

  1. Continuous improvement.

During monthly safety management team meetings occurrence reports are reviewed with actions and learnings identified. These are fed back into the BowTie models to ensure a continuous feedback loop is established between real world operations and risk assessments

  1. Maturity of safety management system.

After integrating their existing risk register and safety management processes with BowTie, ATCS’s unit risk register evolved into an interactive safety management risk register making it a more dynamic, responsive tool

"The whole package provided by Across Safety Development has been excellent, from our initial Bow Tie training sessions to the follow-up sessions further developing the content of our Bow Ties.

The guidance provided in these sessions set us off in the right direction from the start, which is exactly what we hoped to achieve. As we now work with the Bow Ties, any questions or queries that arise are promptly answered by Across; this in turn helps to expand our knowledge of the software and its capabilities.

In all, we would highly recommend Across Safety Development."

Director, ATCSL


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