Safety & Training
New helicopter standard from IS-BAO
Jan. 9, 2012, Alexandria, Va. - Four industry operator organizations today announced completion of a comprehensive amendment to the business aviation leading safety code of practice – the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) – to incorporate changes that will facilitate implementation of the safety standard by helicopter operators.
By Carey Fredericks
Work commenced in June 2010 when representatives of the European Helicopter Association (EHA), British Helicopter Association (BHA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) signed an Agreement to amend the safety standard to make it readily available to the helicopter community though the helicopter associations. HAI President Matt Zuccaro said, “The amended safety standard means that helicopter operators will be able to use an internationally accepted standard to promote safe operations and compare their policies and procedures to a collection of ‘best practices’ developed by their peers in the industry.”
IS-BAO has become the global leader in safety standards for the business aviation operator community. It is a set of performance-based standards that uses a safety management system as its cornerstone, addressing operations, maintenance, training and other related issues. The standards also provide linkages to regulations, standards and recommended practices specified by States and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The International Business Aviation Council introduced the IS-BAO in 2002, following a two year development process which included input from over 100 operators’ best practices. Its aim is to foster standardized, safe and highly professional aircraft operations. Since its launch, over 1,500 copies have been put in circulation and over 550 operators have obtained a Certificate of Registration verifying implementation.
A Task Force under the leadership of Bob Sheffield (Shell Aircraft), Stan Rose (HAI) and Ray Rohr (IBAC), with specialty representation from around the world, including the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHST), reviewed the extensive material before recommending a set of changes. The Project Steering Committee comprised of representatives of BHA, EHA, HAI and IBAC then proposed acceptance by the IS-BAO Standards Board, the responsible group of operator representatives with authority over the standards content. The Standards Board approved the amendment of the standards at its meeting of 9 October 2011, and directed the IS-BAO team to update the many related documents, including the Audit Procedures Manual.
IBAC’s Director General, Donald Spruston said, “Today marks completion of the integration of helicopter provisions into the IS-BAO, another milestone in innovative industry action to continuously improve operational safety.”
Vittorio Morassi of the European Helicopter Association added, “We are deeply grateful to those who, with great professionalism and personal commitment, have made available to the Operators such a powerful tool aimed at improving Company organisation and making possible a significant improvement in safety. Furthermore, once registration is achieved, operators should also enjoy reduced costs and be able to use their demonstrated commitment to safety as a marketing tool.”
“It is vital we reach out to our small and medium size companies if we are to deliver the reduction in rotorcraft accidents we all seek under the leadership of the IHST” said Brian Humphries, Chairman of the British Helicopter Association. “The tailored application of IS-BAO to helicopters is, in our view, the best way of doing this,” continued Humphries, “and we warmly welcome this very important development.”'
IS-BAO annual amendments take effect on the first day of each year. The helicopter provisions will be available in the January 2012 edition of IS-BAO. Copies of the safety standard can be purchased from any of the IBAC Member Associations or from the partnering helicopter associations. To order the safety standards from HAI, go towww.rotor.com/IS-BAO.
To help answer helicopter operators’ questions, representatives from IBAC will lead two seminars during the 2012 HELI-EXPO® Feb. 11-14, 2012, in Dallas – Introduction to IS-BAO and the IS-BAO Auditor Accreditation Workshop – and will help staff the safety booth, located in the HAI Pavilion, booth 8632.