Aviation Safety Management Scholarship


Northwest Data Solutions is pleased to announce the Aviation Safety Management Scholarship from SMS-Pro.

In 2006 the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) mandated that each country require their aviation service providers to adopt a formal safety management system. Since that time, we at NWDS have made it our mission to be at the forefront of aviation safety software, philosophy, and success.

We believe in driving safety by providing superior, easily accessible safety tools and knowledge to all areas of the aviation industry. Modern SMS programs have dramatically increased the safety industry at every level: in airports, with maintenance, on the runway, during flights, and in managerial oversight. Aviation safety is not created by one, or even a handful of people, but by every member of an aviation organization.

Chris Howell, CEO, and the rest of his team are proud to provide this scholarship opportunity in order to help young leaders drive the aviation safety future.


Applicants are encouraged to be currently enrolled in an aviation program at a:

  • University
  • College
  • Training program
  • Or similar organization

While the scholarship writing topics focus on aviation safety, applicants can be enrolled in any branch of an aviation denomination, such as

  • Pilot
  • Aviation maintenance
  • Air traffic control
  • Safety manager, etc.

Applicants who have won the Scholarship ARE still eligible in future scholarship periods.


How to Apply

  1. Applicants must fill out the application form, which can be found here.
  2. Applicants must choose 3 of the 8 topics from below, write a 500 word (or more) essay for each of their chosen topics, and attach their essay to the scholarship form in one Microsoft Word document. Each essay you write should choose a subject that incorporates the topic, and NOT directly “answer” the topic as a subject.

    These essays are Personal Essays, meaning that the content of your essays should incorporate your personal experience, education, and research about aviation safety and/or SMS.

    For example, if you are writing a in response to the question, “What are reactive and proactive safety cultures?” A good essay subject would be something like the following:
    • “How to go from a reactive to proactive safety culture”
    • “Ways to tell if your safety culture is reactive or proactive”
    Both examples would incorporate the topic/question naturally into the essay.


Choose 3 of the 8 following topics:

  1. Discuss ways to help encourage participation in aviation safety programs
  2. In your opinion, what are good aviation safety management practices for your particular area of aviation study?
  3. Discuss the mindset it takes to be successful in aviation risk management
  4. In what areas do you think aviation safety management systems as a whole can focus on for future improvement?
  5. How and why is aviation SMS important for your particular discipline of aviation study?
  6. In your opinion, what is safety culture in the aviation industry? What does it look like?
  7. What do you consider to be the primary motivation of safety management systems in aviation – i.e. what specifically (more than just safety) does SMS address?
  8. Which aviation SMS training values are most important to your area of aviation study

Once again, remember that you are writing short, fun essays, so let your personality and some of your personal experiences shine through. Most importantly, keep in mind that there are no “right answers” and that scholarships are being awarded for depth and thoughtfulness – try to do more than give the “obvious response.”

Please feel free to browse through our SMS-Pro blog for inspiration and/or clarification.


Terms and Conditions

Please make sure you read and understand and accept the terms and conditions of this scholarship.

Applicants may submit only one application per period, for a maximum of 2 submissions per year. Scholarship winners ARE eligible to reapply in following periods.

NWDS retains the rights to modify and feature applicants’ submitted writing on the ASMS-Pro blog. Should an applicant’s writing be featured on the ASMS-Pro blog, he/she will receive due credit as a guest blogger, as well as notification of his/her featured post.

Scholarship winners will receive a scholarship in the amount of $1,000, made payable to the winner’s university, college, or training program.

Failure to Comply
NWDS will not consider applicants who do not check the “I have read and understand the terms and conditions box,” on their scholarship application.



  • Student enrolled in aviation program


  • Summer Deadline: July 1st
  • Winter Deadline: December 31

Award Amount

  • $1,000 twice per year


  • Application form
  • Three 500+ word essays

Deadline and Awards

This is a semi-annual scholarship, with one summer and one winter deadline. One scholarship winner will be chosen per each deadline period. Late applications will not be considered.

Summer Deadline: July 1st
Winter Deadline: December 31st

Winners will be announced within three weeks of each deadline period, and will be chosen based on the quality, depth, and thoughtfulness of their essays as a whole.

Contact Information

Regarding questions about anything that is expected of you, please feel free to contact our scholarship representative who will be happy to assist you.

Doug Walker
[email protected]