LABACE 2005: IS-BAO Workshop Draws Small Crowd

 - November 1, 2006, 4:49 AM

The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition hosted its first IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) workshop this year, encouraging an expansion of NBAA’s safety code of best practices into Latin America.

IS-BAO was born in 1999 of a need to establish an industry-wide standard of best practices for business aircraft operators and was launched officially in May 2002.

There are now 32 IS-BAO-compliant operators worldwide, and the first Latin American company–Consoorcio Voa of Belo Horizon in Brazil–entered the ranks this year.

According to Ray Rohr, standards manager for the International Business Aviation Council and host of the workshop, NBAA has selected Don Hammer of Leading Edge Aviation Solutions in Grapevine, Texas, as the auditor for Latin American companies seeking IS-BAO compliance.

Attendance at the day-long workshop was light, with just six registrants, but Rohr said he believes interest will grow as Latin American companies grasp the significance of the program with regard to safety.

Rohr said that while there are no actual numbers to suggest that IS-BAO companies are safer than noncompliant companies, compliance indicates an emphasis on safety, and he noted, “Since the program was launched, no IS-BAO company has been involved in an aviation accident.”

The standards established for IS-BAO are international in scope and designed to ensure compliance with the regulations of various international aviation authorities as well as to encourage a corporate culture of safety at every level. “Corporate culture,” Rohr explained at the workshop, is “how we do things when we think nobody’s looking.”

In setting standards for safety practices, IS-BAO dictates “what” must be done but not “how” it must be done.

Rohr said NBAA has sold more than 300 copies of the IS-BAO compliance material, which includes the standards booklet itself and a copy of the standards on CD-ROM. The package costs $900. Rohr said the cost of an audit can range from about $3,000 for a small flight department to as much as $30,000 for a larger flight department with multiple aircraft and locations and a wide scope of operations.