Dec. 22, 2020

For business aircraft operators seeking flexibility and customization in maintaining their Stage 3 certification in the International Standard for Business Aviation Operations (IS-BAO), the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) has announced a new Progressive Stage 3 (PS3) option for qualified operators.

The new offering allows flight operations to retain IS-BAO certification through a series of one-day, low-impact, progressive annual audits, as opposed to a single audit once every three years. Under the Progressive Stage 3 approach, the operator selects the scheduling for the audits, and the IS-BAO auditor comes to the operator to conduct the custom-tailored reviews.

Comprised of large and small IS-BAO Stage 3 veterans, the beta leadership team invested two years in designing and testing PS3. It was built by operators, for operators. IS-BAO is a recommended code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve high levels of safety and professionalism.

“We wanted to make our engagement with IS-BAO and our [safety management system] more consistent,” said Mark McIntyre, director of flight operations with Mente, LLC. Instead of ramping up for audit and then settling back, the Part 91 operation of four aircraft is now more “mindful and aware” because “we have a standard to aspire to.”

The ability to innovate is what attracted Johnson & Johnson, said Safety Captain Jared Taylor. Streamlining the audit to one day with preparatory phone calls and emails was only part of it. Sharing information and best practices with others on topics like COVID-19 also proved invaluable.

A key benefit, the one-day progressive auditing process employs a credentialed progressive auditor based in the operator’s region. Their audits allow operators to focus on relevant areas that might have room for improvement. And they make scheduling an audit much easier, said Blair Robson, maintenance and facilities manager for a large flight department that participated in the first PS3 audit. With domestic and international flights, scheduling 60 employees operating three different aircraft types at two different locations for previous audits was always a challenge.

Other PS3 benefits include access to the exclusive IS-BAO safety database, which shares deidentified PS3 data; an audit chapter schedule tailored to the operator; interaction and support from credentialed progress auditors; additional paths for continuous improvement; opportunities to participate in IS-BAO progress; PS3 leadership opportunities and subscription options with a long-term model for simplifying program management, planning, and budgeting.

Learn more about PS3.