Safety & Security

Employee Health Safety and Security Header
Employee Health Safety and Security Header


Safety & Security

Atlas Air Worldwide’s core value of safety, security and compliance is the highest priority across all our operations. We are committed to creating a safe, secure and healthy workplace for our crewmembers and ground staff of nearly 3,300 employees worldwide, and to safely operating more than 59,000 flights annually to hundreds of destinations around the world

Safety Policy and Safety Management System

We set high standards for safety and regulatory compliance, as outlined in our Corporate Safety Policy. Our confidential nonpunitive reporting process encourages employees to report workplace safety issues or noncompliant conditions including hazards, accidents, incidents or injuries, and we believe all employees play a key role in the process of identifying hazards and mitigating risks.

We were among the aviation industry leaders that participated in the Safety Management System (SMS) Pilot Project in early 2010 even before it was required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). And, as of January 2018, we have an FAA Accepted/Fully Implemented SMS. We believe a formal SMS is critical for systematically reducing risks and maximizing opportunities to continually improve the overall safety of the aviation system. Our SMS is built by structuring safety management around four safety components: Safety Policy, Safety Risk Management (SRM), Safety Assurance (SA) and Safety Promotion.

Since Atlas has implemented its SMS, the size of the company’s Safety and Regulatory Compliance department has grown to more than 90 employees. We provide regular workplace safety communications to employees, and our internal safety audit program has become increasingly robust. In addition, we have continued to build and enhance our partnerships with customers and contractors on safety matters. This includes working with our contractors to help them establish and expand their own SMS. Since implementing SMS, we have seen significant improvement in our key safety indicators.

Atlas Air Worldwide’s Safety Management System

Our SMS promotes a positive and “Just Culture” featuring:

  • Oversight of all Operational departments
  • Formal, proactive methods for identifying hazards and mitigating risks
  • Assistance to the Company’s leadership, managers, management teams and staff in making effective and informed safety decisions
  • Comprehensive Safety Reporting tools
    • Constant quality assurance and control reporting
    • Accepted Aviation Safety Action Programs (ASAP)
    • Provide all employees a portal for Safety Reporting
  • Continued investment in leading safety technologies such as:
    • Wireless Quick Access Recorders (WQARs) for our fleet
    • Flight data analysis and visualization
    • Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS)
    • Automated external defibrillators on all extended twin operations (ETOPS) aircraft
  • Feedback on safety performance to all Operational departments and management teams
  • Continued investment in safety training, education, and awareness throughout the organization

Safety Training

Ongoing training for our nearly 1,900 pilots and 1,400 ground staff is at the heart of our ability to maintain safe operations and engage our employees. Our training facilities are widely recognized as some of the best in the aviation industry. In addition to providing all of the required flight crew training, Atlas trains crewmembers and ground employees on the SMS.

Our training facilities are located at our primary operational hubs – with our largest facility being located in Miami, where all our pilots receive their initial, transition and recurrent flight training, and other airline professionals have access to a wide variety of programs. This facility has FAA approval to grant Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certifications, which is FAA’s highest certificate. In addition to training our own pilots, the Miami facility also trains flight crews for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), NASA and the FAA. In fact, Atlas is contracted to provide training for the crews of Air Force One and the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center.

Safety Performance

Atlas is committed to maintaining an industry best-practice program for full compliance with our regulatory obligations. Our program is intended to meet all requirements of the FAA, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA). Since 2007, Atlas has been listed on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry, the prevailing international safety and compliance standard, with zero findings since the initiation of the program. Atlas has also received excellent reviews in safety audits by the DOD.

We track and report safety performance for Atlas overall, as well as for our Flight Operations, Ground Operations and Technical Operations. Our safety metrics include incidents, injuries and accidents, and we establish internal annual targets for each measure. We strive to outperform industry averages and beat our internal targets.

Since our founding in 1992 through the end of 2018, Atlas employees had zero work-related fatalities.

Unfortunately, our company was deeply saddened by the loss of Flight 5Y 3591 on February 23, 2019, which claimed the lives of two Atlas Air pilots and a third pilot from another airline traveling with them. We continue to work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as it leads the investigation into the cause of this tragic accident. The safety of our pilots and ground staff is a top priority, and we mourn the passing of these valued colleagues.