Sept. 26, 2016

NBAA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) have confirmed that IS-BAO registration will satisfy safety management system (SMS) requirements as part of EASA’s third-country operator (TCO) requirements, which go into effect Nov. 26, according to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA senior officials.

“By that deadline, operators must have received a TCO authorization from EASA indicating they are compliant with a regulation largely based on ICAO standards to continue operating commercially in Europe,” noted Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president, regulatory and international affairs. “While the regulation indicates operators must comply with a state-sponsored SMS program, it also allows operators to use alternative means of compliance, such as IS-BAO, which meets to ICAO Phase 4 SMS standards.”

The TCO application process requires operators to self declare compliance with many ICAO standards, including ICAO Annex 19, SMS. While the Part TCO Regulation contains language indicating that a state- sponsored SMS is an acceptable means of compliance to meeting Annex 19 requirements, it also accounts for states that have filed differences with ICAO by including language allowing operators to mitigate hazards through alternative means of compliance.

EASA has the sole authority to issue TCO authorizations and permit commercial flights to operate in EU member state airspace. FAA does not require SMS for Part 135 operators, however, operators choosing to use FAA’s voluntary SMS program as a means of compliance for Part TCO should expect FAA support for those applications.

Many operators have already implemented IS-BAO or other third party SMS programs. NBAA and IBAC efforts confirm that IS-BAO registered operators will not need to participate in FAA’s voluntary program solely for the purpose of meeting EASA’s TCO requirements, Carr noted.

EASA has been granting TCO authorization to operators using third-party SMS programs as an alternative means of compliance since the TCO application opened in 2014.

View an IBAC resource on using IS-BAO certification to indicate compliance with ICAO Phase 4 SMS standards. (PDF)