August 24, 2012
To the unfamiliar, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) is a mysterious safety management system (SMS) of uncertain benefit that requires a substantial investment of time, money and personnel. In reality, it is scalable program, and interested people from flight departments with a single aircraft or a fleet can learn how IS-BAO can enhance their safety culture at an open forum on Sept. 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the at the King County International Airport/Boeing Field (BFI) Terminal Meeting Room in Seattle, WA. This information session, which will address individual concerns and questions, precedes the NBAA Regional Forum in Seattle on Sept. 20.
Established in 2002, IS-BAO is not a prescriptive government mandate, said Jim Cannon, who directs the program for the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), an organization of the world’s business aviation associations based at International Civil Aviation Association (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal. Rather, IS-BAO is a voluntary program based on global best practices. A total of 670 flight departments worldwide are now registered participants, said Cannon, who’s been conducting similar open forums at local, regional and national business aviation events.
An underlying consideration for registering in the IS-BAO program is ICAO’s recommendation that its member nations have some form operational SMS program in place by November 2010. So far, only a few ICAO members have acted on that recommendation, said Cannon, ‘but many countries appear to be on the verge of instituting it.’ IS-BAO complies with ICAO’s general aviation requirements spelled out in Annex 6 for Part II (fixed-wing) and Part III (helicopters), thus making it an internationally recognized means of compliance.