Almost two years have passed since the launch of the ISBAH audit standard. By now, you’ve probably heard about the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) and what it means for aircraft ground service providers. If you’re like many in the industry, however, you probably also have several unanswered questions about how the standard works in practice, and how it interfaces with the work you are already doing. While IS-BAH may sound like just another round of best practices, it is much more than a passing fad. In fact, the fundamental elements of IS-BAH provide operators with far-reaching benefits, including international compliance, marketing advantages, better efficiency and communication, and of course, safety and more resilient operations.
Many aircraft operators are ahead of those of us in the ground services industry in terms of a systems-level view of managing safety and quality. IS-BAO, Air Charter Safety Foundation and other audit standards have been around for years in Parts 91 and 135 flight operations, and are often a requirement for client contracts or charter brokers. Today, hundreds of flight operations have undergone the rigorous process for achieving IS-BAO registration. In the February 2015 issue of the Aviation Business Journal, I wrote about defining safety as much more than the absence of negative events; and the comprehensive framework of IS-BAO has proven a valuable system for helping operators better manage safety, quality, and operational effectiveness. IS-BAH provides the same benefits to ground handling organizations, and it complements existing programs for training and service.
IS-BAO and IS-BAH are managed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and were developed by members of the business aviation and handling communities. We’ll focus a bit more on IBAC—as opposed to some of the other standardization bodies—because it is the organization that manages the IS-BAH standard. IBAC’s member organizations include 14 business aviation associations from around the world. IBAC has permanent observer status with the International Civil Aviation Organization; and is an advocate for the business aviation community in that forum as well as others. When an operator chooses to conduct an audit to the IS-BAH standard, they do so through one of the accredited auditors listed on the IBAC website. IBAC itself does not conduct audits, so any agreement for the conduct, expectations, and costs associated with an audit are arranged between the operator and the auditor they choose.
Standards at face value are a way to provide structure and assurance that products and services are delivered safely and reliably and meet certain basic levels of quality. From an organizational perspective, standards are more than just a means for achieving quality and safety. They provide a framework for strategic direction as well, by incorporating a set of tools to minimize waste and errors, capitalize on improvements in communication, and increase productivity. IS-BAH and IS-BAO share common roots in the long-established ISO 9001 standard, one of the many standards the International Organization for Standardization promulgates around the world.
The primary focus of the IS-BAH standard (and the IS-BAO) is on systems. What that often means in practice is that we must adopt a holistic, process-based view of how we approach our business. Even in the heavily-regulated world of Part 121 and 135 carriers, standards are a useful way of codifying not only what we do, but how we do it at an organizational level, and how we continuously improve as a group. An important distinction is that IS-BAH is a performance standard. Rather than focusing on compliance with a strict set of guidelines, the standard seeks to push registered operators to design systems that can be monitored and validated toward reducing inefficiency and better identifying risk. Risk is an important element to IS-BAH, because the central tenet of the standard is a sound, appropriate, and effective safety management system.
Why is participation in a standard like IS-BAH a great idea, even if you already utilize the NATA Safety 1st Professional Line Service (PLST) curricula? The short answer is Continue reading
With Independence Day just a week away, temperatures are on the rise across the country and some areas have already seen record-breaking heat this summer. Although OSHA does not have specific regulations concerning the management of employee heat stress, the General Duty Clause of the 1970 OSHA Act has been used to cite employers that have allowed employees to be exposed to potential serious physical harm from excessively hot work environments.
In a 2001 Letter of Interpretation, OSHA notes that the following “feasible and acceptable methods can be used to reduce heat stress hazards in workplaces”:
- Permitting workers to drink water at liberty;
- Establishing provisions for a work/rest regimen so that exposure time to high temperatures and/or the work rate is decreased;
- Developing a heat stress program which incorporates the following:
- A training program informing employees about the effects of heat stress, and how to recognize heat-related illness symptoms and prevent heat-induced illnesses;
- A screening program to identify health conditions aggravated by elevated environmental temperatures;
- An acclimation program for new employees or employees returning to work from absences of three or more days;
- Specific procedures to be followed for heat-related emergency situations;
- Provisions that first aid be administered immediately to employees displaying symptoms of heat-related illness.
OSHA has also created a page where employers can find more information on occupational heat exposure.
Additionally, NATA offers, as part of its Safety 1st program, an OSHA training module on heat stress. This online training module:
- Explains how your body handles heat
- Helps employees understand how hot environments increase likelihood of accidents
- Explains how and why your body cooling system may fail
- Identifies the types of heat-related illnesses
- Explores the environment factors and unique personal factors causing heat illness
- Reviews the basic preventative measures to reduce the risk of heat stress
NATA would like to congratulate two members who are Safety 1st Qualified for recently becoming IS-BAH Registered: Texas Jet and I.A.M. Jet Centre, Jamaica!
Click here to read about I.A.M. Jet Centre’s accomplishment.
Click here to read about Texas Jet’s accomplishment.
Check out the FBO / Ground Handling Status Map to see who else is Safety 1st Qualified and/or IS-BAH registered.
To get more information about the IS-BAH program, please visit www.nata.aero/safety1st.
This week, NATA unveiled the FBO Status Map — a web-based resource to assist aircraft operators in locating FBOs and ground handlers that are Safety 1st qualified and IS-BAH registered. NATA created the map to supplement the existing processes used by aircraft operators when selecting an FBO.
“Safety is a vital consideration in the flight planning process. NATA’s FBO Status Map provides operators and pilots a free, easy to use tool to locate Safety 1st qualified and IS-BAH registered FBOs throughout the world,” stated NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks.
“Safety 1st and IS-BAH are not competing programs, but rather complementary tools that help assure ground handlers are utilizing industry best practices and gold standard training,” added NATA Managing Director of Safety and Training Michael France. “Now aircraft operators can verify the status of potential handlers from their tablets, PCs or smartphones in seconds.”
The map is searchable by airport ID, company name, address and allows for additional details for each FBO.
NATA Aviation Business Conference Session Preview | Slow-Onset Hypoxia
May 17, 2016 – 2 pm EDT – Free Webinar
NATA’s 2016 Aviation Business Conference is coming to Washington, DC June 8th through 10th. A webinar on May 17th will offer a preview of a conference session led by Dr. Paul Buza of the Southern Aero Medical Institute. Dr. Buza has spent years researching the unique profile and dangers associated with slow-onset hypoxia and will discuss the challenges crew members face in recognizing the onset of this quiet killer. All webinar registrants will receive a complimentary recording of the webinar.
The Safety Net Blog provides a means to stay informed and engaged with the Safety 1st program and gain access to industry safety and training resources. One such resource is available from USAIG is available at no cost – safety screensavers and wallpaper. Click here to read more and learn how to download these resources today!