Concerned that illegal charter remains a threat to the industry, a dozen business aviation organizations are uniting in their effort to combat the practice through the creation of a new Air Charter Safety Alliance (ACSA). Through ACSA, the organizations will work together to raise awareness of illegal charters for potential customers, charter brokers, ministries of transport, and national aviation organizations.
The issue has been a top priority for ACSA members, which have worked both individually and collaboratively on various initiatives to fight illegal charter.
“Illegal/grey charters know no boundaries,” said Ryan Waguespack, National Air Transportation Association senior v-p. “The industry has made great progress in joining together to advance crucial initiatives, such as sustainability. We look forward to experiencing that same level of success as a unified force in eliminating illegal charter operations.”
Over the next three months, the organizations will create an online platform on the issue, launch an education campaign on the dangers of illegal charter, and collaborate on best practices. ACSA plans to develop and promote safety programs designed to help charter operators, with a focus on safety initiatives.
The organizations believe most charters operate in compliance and meet national and international standards, but remain concerned about efforts to avoid aviation oversight, risking the safety of passengers and hurting the economic health of legal operations.
“The International Civil Aviation Organization has established obligations and guidance on the regulation of international air transport as well as standards and recommended practices for the safety and security of commercial and noncommercial air transport. These form the harmonized basis for legal international air charter activities,” said Kurt Edwards, director-general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). “We are pleased to work with the IBAC member associations to raise awareness among national authorities and client populations of this international framework to further reduce the occurrence of charter operations inconsistent with the framework.”
“We believe this multi-pronged approach to consumer education, along with regulator and supply-chain awareness, will reinforce the safety value of approved charter operators,” added Doug Carr, NBAA v-p for international and regulatory affairs.
In addition to IBAC, NATA, and NBAA, the coalition consists of the Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral, Air Charter Association, African Business Aviation Association, Asian Business Aviation Association, Business Aircraft Operators Association, British Business & General Aviation Association, European Business Aviation Association, French Business Aviation Association (EBAA France), and the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association.