IBAC-approved IS-BAO standards make gains

 - May 6, 2008, 11:34 AM

Corporate flight departments around the world have started adopting the new international standards for business aircraft operations (IS-BAO). The code of conduct was launched by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in April and is intended primarily as a means of compliance with Europe’s new JAR OPS 2 operating requirements for non-commercial business aircraft.

IBAC director general Don Spruston told AIN that 133 of the IS-BAO operations manuals have now been sent out for distribution through various business aviation associations. “So far, we have been soft-marketing IS-BAO and we are already finding a lot of word-of-mouth referral among operators,” he said.

Last month IBAC introduced an audit process for the new standards. At a recent audit workshop, 15 business aviation professionals were accredited by the new IS-BAO standards board consisting of flight department managers and national association officials. By the end of last month the list of auditors was expected to be published on the IBAC Web site (www.ibac.org), and flight departments are free to choose which one to work with. If the auditor endorses an operation, IBAC will then issue a two-year IS-BAO certificate.

Flight departments negotiate the cost and scope of the audit directly with the auditor. “Some companies may want the audit to go beyond the process-specific requirements of IS-BAO and cover more quality issues rather than just operational safety issues,” explained Spruston. Typically, an initial audit takes no more than two or three days.

According to IBAC, Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities (JAAs) have now deemed that IS-BAO meets JAR OPS standards. German officials have asked for time to examine the document more thoroughly before endorsing it. “The IS-BAO process encourages operators to develop their own safety-management system,” said Spruston.

Recognition of IS-BAO’s value is already spreading beyond Europe. At an operations manual workshop held by NBAA in Washington early last month, about half of the 30 flight departments represented said they were there to begin the IS-BAO registration process. NBAA members can get more information on the new standards at www.nbaa. org/ops/is-bao.

Best-practice Approach

The IS-BAO standards have been developed over the last couple of years as a compendium of best practices drawn from the operating manuals of corporate flight departments from four continents. It was drawn up and approved by an IS-BAO standards board consisting of chairman John Batty (UK Business Aircraft Users Association); vice chairman Paul Stinebring (NBAA); Robert Blouin (NBAA); William Boucher (Canadian Business Aviation Association); Robert Conley (Aventis); Gary Ridley (IBM Europe); Glenn Navas (Interavia Taxi Aero–Brazil); and Spruston (IBAC).

The standards board will meet each fall to agree on necessary updates. The IS-BAO secretariat consists of IBAC standards manager Ray Rohr, IBAC director ICAO liaison Peter Ingleton and IS-BAO administrator Paul Lessard.

The cost of IS-BAO documentation is $950 for members of business aviation associations affiliated with IBAC and $1,400 for non-members. This is available either in printed or CD-ROM format, and it comes with a five-year amendment service. IBAC is also issuing IS-BAO aircrew and auditor identification cards.

The documentation includes generic operations manuals that can be tailored to individual operators and comes in two versions. One version is the format commonly used in North America, South America and Asia and is available in either an 8.5- by 11-in. or Jeppesen-compatible format. The second version is compatible with Europe’s JAR OPS requirements and is available in either A4 or Jeppesen-compatible format.