Avisa helps carriers handle bureacracy

 - November 13, 2009, 11:50 PM

Aircraft operators are facing a bureaucratic maze of new requirements covering issues such as safety and quality management at a time when they are under exceptional financial pressure and could do without the added burden. But these are just the sort of headaches for which UK-based Avisa Aviation Safety Systems believes it can provide lasting relief.

Earlier this year, the company established Avisa Gulf here in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through a joint venture with local business aircraft operator Al Jaber Aviation, for which it provides air worthiness and maintenance management services. Avisa provides advice, training and ongoing support to a variety of airlines and business aircraft operators. For example, it helped new low-cost carrier flyDubai get its aircraft operators certificate and airworthiness certification.

Offers SMS Capabilities
The new ICAO requirement for operators to develop a safety management system (SMS) is a high priority for those who need to create one by the end of 2010, and Avisa (http://avisa.smsaero. com) is offering a free online tool to help them understand how to achieve compliance.

Avisa (Stand No. W704) can provide detailed advice to operators, helping them understand how far short of the requirement they may be before assisting them in compiling the necessary documents, manuals and procedures and then providing SMS training for their staff. “SMS is a proactive process,” explained Avisa managing director Justin Goatcher. “It is not just a matter of looking for noncompliance in safety; you need to look carefully at areas of risk and actively address them.”

Changes in airworthiness regulations over the past couple of years mean that more operators are required to have the support of a continuous airworthiness management organization (CAMO). In theory, operators can create and run their own CAMOs, but for smaller organizations it is rarely cost effective. An operator’s maintenance provider could also provide CAMO coverage, but, Goatcher said, this can reduce an operator’s flexibility and independence because it were to switch maintenance services to another company it also would have to switch to a new CAMO. Goatcher said Avisa’s independent standing means it can take care of all of this for operators while also seeking ways to ensure it is achieved in a cost-effective way, such as through negotiating with maintenance providers.

Avisa is now approved under European Aviation Safety Agency’s Part M rules, which cover continuing airworthiness and maintenance of aircraft. In addition to aircraft registered in Europe, the company can also provide CAMO support for those on the registries of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Cayman Islands. CAMO support covers fairly routine, but nonetheless burdensome tasks, such as monitoring maintenance needs and the status of life-limited aircraft parts. The company has also established an office in Bulgaria from which to serve operators in Eastern Europe.
Avisa’s expertise comes from a mix of former aviation authority officials and airline managers. The company also now owns the Russell Adams enterprise software that it uses to help manage tasks such as airworthiness and maintenance planning and technical record keeping. Among the larger operators for which it provides support is British low-cost carrier EasyJet.

Goatcher told AIN that the company’s growth has slowed a little during the downturn but it is still expanding at a rate of around 15 to 20 percent compared with the 30 to 40 percent it experienced in the previous financial year. About 60 percent of Avisa’s sales growth for the past 12 months has come from the Middle East, he said.

In September, Avisa was elected as a full member of the UK Flight Safety Committee.