May 29, 2012

The IBAC Aircrew Identification Card has provided business aircraft flight crews with a convenient, internationally recognized form of identification since the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) first issued it in 1983.

The white, blue and red card was created to ease ramp access and assist in customs identification; however, it does not provide security clearance into restricted areas, said Don Spruston, IBAC director general.

The card meets the recommendations outlined in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 9 Facilitation, Standards and Recommended Practices. Much like the identity cards issued to commercial crews, it provides an additional level of assurance to security officials that the person carrying the card is a bona fide business aircraft crewmember.

“It facilitates operations like security, immigration and customs in terms of identifying the crewmember,” said Spruston. “However, it is not a security document and is not intended to replace the screening requirement for going into a security restricted area. There are occasions where business aviation crewmembers will enter a restricted area, and in those instances they must go through the same security checks as an airline crewmember.”

For that reason, Spruston cautions those carrying the IBAC aircrew card on international flights that they must still carry a passport to clear customs.

In some cases, the card also can be used to receive crew discounts at hotels, although Spruston said IBAC has no formal agreements with hotel operators to provide such discounts.

“We’ve had reports that from time to time, hotel operators will offer crew discounts when the aircrew card is presented,” he said.

The aircrew card costs $70 and is good for three years from the date of issue. It’s available to pilots of flight departments who are members of one of the 15 IBAC-member organizations, including NBAA. An application can be downloaded from Once completed, a flight department manager must sign the application, Spruston said. IBAC issues an average of 1,500 cards per year. More than 4,000 cards currently are active.