The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) was established by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its member associations, as a recommended code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve high levels of safety and professionalism. IS-BAO is an industry standard built for operators, by operators that provides standards based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

Both the FAA and CAA in Canada recognize IS-BAO as meeting the ICAO standard and encourage participation. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) also recognizes IS-BAO as an industry standard for business aircraft operations.

IS-BAO was amended in 2012 to facilitate implementation by helicopter operators. This was a joint effort between IBAC, the helicopter associations HAI, BHA and EHA.

While developing and maintaining a safety management system (SMS) is not required under current FAA regulations, the NTSB has stated they would like the FAA to require SMS for Part 135 operations and included Safety in Part 135 Operations on their 2018 Most Wanted List. More than a thousand business aircraft operators, large and small, in the U.S. and around the world have reached Stage 1, 2, and 3 IS-BAO registration since 2002. These numbers continue to grow as more flight departments and operators see value in not only managing a safe aviation environment but empowering the entire organization to be involved in a safety culture.

The IS-BAO continues to evolve and respond to the industry needs by developing two new progressive programs.

FlightPlan Stage 1 offers the busy small operator (1-aircraft, 1-base) a simple and speedy pathway to Stage 1 registration. This all-inclusive option for new entrants comprises of professional implementation assistance, one-day audit (excluding aircraft inspection), and “on-course” 6-month proficiency validations, all included for one fee.

The Progressive Stage 3 program was developed for veteran operators to leverage their advanced safety systems. As an option to the legacy Stage 3, this innovative program includes a one-day progressive audit that is customized to the operation and provides exclusive access to a new business aviation safety database.

For an outline of the topics covered, review the IS-BAO Table of Contents.

Additional information about IS-BAO is also available on the IBAC website.

As a parallel program to IS-BAO, IBAC and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) developed the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handlers (IS-BAH), a set of global industry best practices for business aviation ground handlers that features an SMS as its core. Learn more about IS-BAH.

Get Started – Purchase IS-BAO

Operators may purchase IS-BAO materials through the IBAC website.

Because NBAA is one of the global business aviation association members of IBAC, NBAA members will receive a discount on the purchase price of the IS-BAO Standard document suite.

Price for IS-BAO and accompanying materials:

  • NBAA Members – $1,200
  • Non-Members of NBAA – $1,650
Please note that your NBAA membership will be verified upon purchase to receive the discount. If you are not a member yet, join NBAA today.

IS-BAO materials include the Audit Programme Manual (APM), and the latest audit protocols. You will also have access to the suite of supporting electronic documents/tools including:

  • Online implementation guidance
  • IS-BAO generic company operations manuals (four versions including standard, European, small operator and single pilot)
  • SMS Toolkit – includes over 30 guidance documents to assist you in SMS implementation

Additional information about IS-BAO, including a schedule of upcoming IS-BAO Workshops, is available on the IBAC website.