HAI Convention News

IS-BAO Safety Code Rewritten for Helicopter Operators

 - February 12, 2012, 7:15 AM

Four industry operator organizations have written comprehensive amendments to the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), to facilitate implementation of the safety standard by helicopter operators.

International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) representatives are offering two seminars during Heli-Expo to introduce operators to IS-BAO parameters. The seminars–Introduction to IS-BAO and the IS-BAO Auditor Accreditation Workshop–are available at the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Booth (No. 8632).

In 2010 representatives of the European Helicopter Association (EHA), British Helicopter Association (BHA), HAI and IBAC agreed to amend the safety standard to make it applicable to the helicopter community. IS-BAO’s performance-based standards have a safety management system (SMS) as the cornerstone, addressing operations, maintenance, training and related issues. The standards also provide links to regulations, standards and recommended practices specified by national authorities and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“The amended standard teaches helicopter operators to promote safe operations and compare their policies and procedures to a collection of best practices developed by their industry peers,” said HAI president Matt Zuccaro. Added Brian Humphries, chairman of the British Helicopter Association, “It is vital we reach out to our small and medium-size companies if we are to deliver the reduction in rotorcraft accidents we all seek under the leadership of the International Helicopter Safety Team [IHST].”

IBAC director general Donald Spruston said, “Completion of the integration of helicopter provisions into the IS-BAO is another industry milestone action to continuously improve operational safety.” Vittorio Morassi of the EHA noted, “Once achieving registration, operators should also enjoy reduced costs and be able to use their demonstrated commitment to safety as a marketing tool.”

Bob Sheffield (Shell Aircraft), Stan Rose (HAI) and Ray Rohr (IBAC), with representation from around the world including the IHST and the European Helicopter Safety Team, reviewed extensive material before recommending changes. The Standards Board approved the amendment at its Oct. 9, 2011 meeting and directed the IS-BAO team to update the many related documents, including the Audit Procedures Manual.

The IS-BAO helicopter provision amendments are available in the January 2012 edition of IS-BAO. Copies can be purchased from any IBAC member association or from the partnering helicopter associations.

IS-BAO was introduced in 2002 following a process that included input from more than 100 operators’ best practices. Since IS-BAO’s launch, more than 550 operators have obtained certificates of registration verifying implementation.