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Aviation Safety & Security Program

For over half a century the USC program has served as the gold standard of aviation safety management education.  The program has developed a reputation for excellence that is recognized nationally and internationally in the aviation community.

Our program was established at USC in 1952 as the first Aviation Safety program at a major research university.  We offer 20 courses to nearly 1000 students each year in a personal, hands-on, format.  Our instructors are skilled educators with extensive industry experience, and courses are taught in small classes to facilitate classroom interaction.  Students gain the knowledge to establish safety programs, investigate aircraft accidents, become expert witnesses, and deal with human factor issues.

Individual courses are designed to provide the student with expertise in a particular subject area. While each course is constructed as a whole and taught independently of the others, those interested in preparing for a full-time career in aviation safety should consider a program of courses that provides broad knowledge. We award the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Certificate to those successfully completing the required program. It certifies completion of training in the multidisciplinary areas of Aviation Safety Management.

More than 21,000 aviation professionals have come from over 20 nations to attend, including:

  • All major U.S. air carriers and aircraft manufacturers.
  • Many International air carriers recognized for their outstanding safety records, including QANTAS, SAS and Lufthansa
  • U.S. government agencies managing air safety and accident investigations and recommendations – the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, and the equivalent agencies of Canada, New Zealand, France, Great Britain, Italy, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Germany and Taiwan
  • Other agencies – Forest Service, Customs Service, DEA, FBI, INS, Bureau of Land Management, Border Patrol, all branches of the military
  • Local agencies across the country such as:  the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Fire Department, the Gainsville Florida Police Department, Columbus Ohio Airport Police,  New York City Police Department as well as many others.
February 13, 2017 - Tunisia Leads the Way in Aviation Safety
Tunisia - from the crossroads of civilization to the modern world of aviation. Image Credit: LudmiƂa Pilecka via Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Tunisia boasts a long, rich, and storied history, but today this North African country is leading the way in their pursuit of Aviation excellence.  The FTPL (Federation of Tunisian Line Pilots), recently partnered with IFALPA to host a course in Aviation Security and Security Management Systems (SeMS) conducted by the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security program. This course was the first of it’s kind for some of the students, as SeMS is a subject that is at the forefront of aviation.  It applies the principles of system management to aviation security.  

The Aviation Security Program Management course was held on January 23-26, 2017 in La Marsa, Tunisia.  Attendees included pilots from Tunis Air, Air Algerie, Kenya Air and  Airlines from Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.  There were representatives from Air Traffic Control and Airport administrators from the Tunis International Airport.  Also in attendance, was the Vice Chairman Security Committee representative from ALPA,  Jeroen Kruse.  Nidhal Chograni, the CEO & Founder of Air Tunisie, came to present certificates to students on the last day of class.  Also there to celebrate the graduates, were representatives from the CAA, US and British embassies.  

The host organization, FTPL, strives to maintain the highest level of aviation safety in Tunisia.   It is a National organization headed by it’s dedicated and passionate president, Karim Elloumi.  Mr. Elloumi himself has completed all the required courses and has earned the Aviation Safety Program certificate from USC.  

There is a movement to bring continuing education to the area and it’s Aviation professionals. In 2015, they hosted a course in Human Factors.  And, some of the students have traveled great distances to partake in courses that count toward the University of Southern California’s certificate programs in Safety and Security. 

Tunisia’s commendable endeavor to lead the way in aviation safety and security set the example for other organizations to step forward to promote the integration of SMS and SeMS.

If you are interested in hosting a class for your organization, please contact our Contract Course Coordinator, Holly Inaba, at:

November 1, 2016 - New USC Course, Data for Safety Management

The Aviation Safety and Security Program announces a new course, Data for Safety Magement.  This practical, hands-on approach to the handling and analysis of flight data will first run December 12-16, 2016, for four and a half days.  This course will feature actual collection and analysis of real-time flight data, and cover the following topics:
  • FOQA Programs
  • FDR's, QAR's, CVR's
  • ADS-B
  • Animation of Flight Data
  • Basic Statistical Tools
  • International Standards
  • Case Studies
  • Commercial Safety Data Services
  • Flight data in supporting accident/incident investigation
To register for this new course, please visit our online registration portal, or contact our Registration Office.