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International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)

International Business Aviation Council

National Business Aviation Administration

IBAC Letter to Members

Bermuda DCA letter regarding IS-BAO

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Welcome to IS-BAOimgThe International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) was introduced by the International Business Aviation Council, LTD (IBAC), in 2003. IS-BAO was developed by the industry for the benefit of the industry. It is a code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve a high level of safety and professionalism. consults and performs IS-BAO audits based on the philosophy of "No Surprises"

  • Your auditor will be accredited and experienced and will possess the insight garnered from having previously achieved IS-BAO registration in a high-tempo operation.
  • Your auditor will become familiar with your operation and pertinent manuals prior to an audit.
  • IS-BAO is a well-defined standard. You will be audited for compliance and adherence. Your auditor will share ideas and resources that may enhance safety and efficiency; however, your auditor will never clutter or confuse you with impertinent data.
  • Your team will be treated with the respect that they deserve for their hard work. IS-BAO is a demanding, rewarding, and on-going process. This audit should serve as a way to showcase and acknowledge the effort expended attaining this prestigious registration.
  • Your auditor will provide immediate feedback and results.
  • will be a value leader in the industry.

imgThe IS-BAO includes SMS requirements, organization and personnel, standard operating procedures, training programs, flight operations, operations in international airspace, aircraft equipment requirements, aircraft maintenance requirements, company operations manual, emergency response plan, environmental management, occupational health and safety, transportation of dangerous goods, and security.

Departments may adhere to these principals and be considered compliant within ICAO Annex 6 Part II In summary, by 2010, all operations in ICAO member countries must demonstrate an SMS, Operations Manual, and Fatigue Management System. How will YOUR department prove compliance? The only current practical solution is to be audited and registered by an accredited IBAC auditor. This provides an operator the documentation that they are IS-BAO compliant and are in excess of the basic requirements as recognized by all ICAO members.

How:imgThis can be a very laborious process. Documentation is key. Each department must adhere to the basic standards which may include modifications to administrative, operating, and maintenance procedures. Many departments find themselves re-writing their Operations Manuals (this sometimes requires a consultant or other resources) to be IS-BAO compliant and then ensure they are compliant with their new manuals. The standards are not a mystery and are clearly defined. The final task is to arrange an audit. A department should know when they are compliant and an IS-BAO audit should not be a painful 'search and destroy mission'. There are different stages of IS-BAO, with Stage Three (requires re-certification every three years vice two) defined as executing a fully 'mature SMS'.

Why: IBAC reasons are listed at, which are all very true. The reasons I have encountered range from . . .
  • Adherence to ICAO and guaranteed uninterrupted flight operations throughout Europe and the rest of the world
  • Significant reduction of insurance premiums
  • Documentation of sustained superior performance to management teams, decision makers, performance evaluators, owners, etc.
  • Team building and reinforcing department structure and operations
  • Document expectations, goals, and best practices
  • Incorporating 'loose ends' of SMS, maintenance, security, training, HR, etc., into one traceable program.

The level of man hours to achieve IS-BAO registration is dependent on how that department is currently operating. A genuinely professional department will be relegated to some 'fine-tuning' and achieve registration quickly (see registered operators An inexperienced and young flight department may have a considerable task before them. There are many consultants that help in various areas to become compliant; however, they must be chosen carefully.

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