Including Safety in Your FBO Selection

Aircraft operators consider a number of factors when choosing an FBO: available facilities, customer service, fuel cost, hangar availability, location and fees. As you read that list, one important item is absent – safety. A recent study by the VanAllen Group found that ground incidents accounted for “the largest source of [insurance] claims payments.”

Though safety is not on the list above, the bottom line is that aircraft operators care about safety in all they do. In fact, a focus on FBO safety is considered a given expectation. Think about the last time you went to a restaurant; did you spend any time thinking about whether the food you consumed would give you food poisoning? Probably not, and this is not because you don’t care about food safety, but rather because you assume that restaurant is focusing on preventing food borne illness. The same is true with FBO selection, an FBO with quality facilities, great customer service, and competitive pricing must be doing the right things when it comes to safety, correct?

FBO safety is also challenging to assess from afar. How can a dispatcher, scheduler or flight coordinator effectively evaluate an FBO’s safety program during a phone call? Challenges aside, with ground handling incidents being a leading cause of aircraft damage, our industry has determined that aircraft operators should be even more proactive when it comes to ensuring ground safety of aircraft at remote locations. Standards like the International Standard – Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) and the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard (IAS) both include requirements for reviewing ground handling safety while aircraft are away from home. So what can an aircraft operator do?

First, we must understand the basis for ground handling safety in our industry. In the U.S. ground handling is governed by industry standard. Some of those standards include Airlines for America’s (A4A) Spec 103 (fuel quality), NATA’s Safety 1st Program (operational safety training) and the International Standard – Business Aircraft Handling (safety management system (SMS) and standard practice). When implemented and rigorously adhered to, these standards form a solid base that aircraft operators can rely on as an indicator that FBOs are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the aircraft, passengers and crew they handle.

Asking “Is your FBO IS-BAH registered and Safety 1st qualified?” is the quickest and simplest means to assess the safety commitment of an FBO. Currently over 600 locations meet the Safety 1st qualification requirements and over 50 FBOs have achieved IS-BAH registration with even more on the way during Q1 of this year. Of course, what is done with this information is up to each individual aircraft operator. Likely, it will be used in combination with other factors. Even though it may not be a sole decision making criterion, there is no replacement for checking an FBO’s Safety 1st and IS-BAH registration status. In fact, aircraft operators can verify Safety 1st & IS-BAH status of FBOs around the world by visiting www.fbostatus.com. A global map utilizing the familiar Google Maps platform displays every FBO in the world that is Safety 1st qualified or IS-BAH registered. The map is searchable by airport, city, state and FBO name and provides a quick way to verify the status of any FBO you might choose to visit.

Ground handling safety is important to FBOs and it is important to you as an aircraft operator. Taking a few moments in your FBO evaluation process to ask, “Are you IS-BAH registered and Safety 1st qualified?” and verifying that status on www.fbostatus.com provides you a critical decision point in your FBO selection process.

Republished from Business Air’s Charter Today (Q1 2017)

CONGRATULATIONS: Curaçao Air Terminal Services Earn IS-BAH Certification

NATA would like to congratulate member, Curaçao Air Terminal Services (CATS) for recently becoming IS-BAH Registered!

Click here to read about CATS’ accomplishment.

Check out the FBO / Ground Handling Status Map to see what other service facilities are Safety 1st Qualified and/or IS-BAH registered. To find out more about the IS-BAH program, please visit http://nata.aero/Safety-1st.aspx.

NATA’s Safety 1st Launches Online Training Programs for HAZMAT and Regulated Garbage Handling

HAZMAT and Reg GarbageResponding to member input, NATA Safety 1st recently unveiled new HAZMAT and Regulated Garbage online training programs.

The handling of HAZMAT and regulated garbage carries serious penalties and consequences if done improperly. NATA, as the leading provider of training for aviation businesses, is proud to expand our online training program to include these vital topics. The programs are specifically designed for FBOs, charter operators, flight crews, and ground personnel.

HAZMAT Will-Carry

  • Meets requirements for aircraft operators that choose to carry HAZMAT/dangerous goods
  • Reviews definitions, terms, regulations and standards
  • Defines will-carry and will-not-carry operations
  • Provides additional resources and checklists

HAZMAT Will-Not-Carry

  • Designed for air carriers that do not carry HAZMAT/dangerous goods and FBOs that desire to provide awareness training for employees
  • Reviews definitions, terms, regulations and standards
  • Prepares employees to recognize HAZMAT classifications and markings associated with dangerous goods
  • Provides additional resources and checklists

Regulated Garbage

  • The proper handling and disposal of aircraft regulated garbage
  • Assists aviation businesses in meeting the training requirements to stay compliant
  • Reviews standard operating procedures
  • Provides additional useful materials

Please visit individual program pages to view which USDA and DOT training requirements are met. For more information, please visit http://nata.aero/Safety-1st.aspx

Follow the Recipe

Please welcome guest blogger, Bob Schick, the Director of Safety & Risk Management with TAC Air.

My wife makes the most amazing corn chowder. I mean when I smell the bacon cooking and see her getting everything prepared it makes my stomach do a happy dance. Then she serves it up and…wait just a minute! This doesn’t taste like the last time you made it! Why doesn’t it taste the same? What has been changed? Did she follow the recipe? Does she have a recipe or does she just wing it? How do I express my shock and awe without being told “make it yourself”?

Our line and MX operations aren’t much different are they? We go along doing our happy dance until something happens. A customer gets upset, we don’t service the plane on time or correctly. Even worse, we damage something or hurt someone. Then we ask, what has changed? What is different?

We invest time, money and resources both internal and external in our operations on a daily basis. We develop procedures (recipes) to detail how we want both the simple and complex tasks performed. We hire the right people and then provide training to them so they have the skills to perform the tasks.
Yet we are amazed and befuddled when things go wrong. When we get that poor customer comment card, when we miss a ramp or service time. When we damage something or hurt someone. When a favorite food doesn’t taste the same, what has changed?

The only way to ensure and control the process from deviating too far is to check it. Perform an audit. Audits can be as complex, or as simple as you decide necessary to identify when the recipe is changing. Just go out and watch what they are doing. Fight the urge to jump in and correct and just watch, take notes and document/quantify what is really going on. “Inspect what you expect.”

Audit to ensure that they are following the procedures and then evaluate that the procedures are getting you what you want. Does the process produce what you expect it to produce? Are they following the recipe? Does it make you and your customers do the happy dance?

Visit or return to NATA site: http://www.nata.aero Visit or return to Safety 1st site: http://www.nata.aero/safety1st