NATA Safety 1st is currently redeveloping its online training content to incorporate improvements and new features suggested by our members and users. As part of this process, we are seeking new photographs of ground handling activities, such as aircraft fuel and oil servicing, quality control checks, and towing operations. If your company is interested in sharing photos of ground handling operations at your facilities, and possibly having these images featured in the redeveloped NATA Safety 1st training program, please contact our Trainer/Content Manager Steve Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Demonstrations of this new system at upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference
Wednesday, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) unveiled the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System (Safety 1st FQMS), a cloud-based digital tool for general and business aviation fuel quality management inspections, record keeping and auditing. NATA will demonstrate this breakthrough tool during the upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Long Beach, CA, at NATA’s Booth 840 on February 7th (3:30pm – 4:00pm) and 8th (2:00pm – 2:30pm). You may also schedule an individual appointment to view this and other NATA products and services at https://nataatsdc.setmore.com/.
The Safety 1st FQMS replaces traditional pen and paper record keeping with an intelligent system that increases management visibility, employee accountability and operational safety. Key features include digital storage and access to all quality control (QC) records; an easy-to-use, mobile-optimized inspection platform; and Compliance Sentry technology that provides a 24-7 eye on your QC system. Location and date/time-stamping of inspections increases team accountability by enabling managers to verify where and when inspections were performed.
“As an association that works to continuously enhance safety best practices and provide value to its members, NATA is pleased to offer the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System — an important advancement in fuel quality management,” stated NATA President Martin H. Hiller. “The Safety 1st FQMS enables FBOs and other fuel providers to leverage technology to increase efficiency and visibility into their fuel quality management efforts and affords Part 135, Part 91 and Part 91k operators the ability to remotely audit fuel quality control.”
“The Safety 1st FQMS is offered at an affordable, monthly rate to NATA members, allowing even the smallest FBOs to benefit from this technology,” added NATA Managing Director of Safety and Training Michael France.
Visit NATA at the upcoming NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, Booth 840, or go to www.nata.aero/fqms for more information or to schedule an online demonstration today!
Click here to view the full press release.
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.
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
NATA would like to congratulate World Fuel Services on its recent announcement. The Air Elite® Network has partnered with the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) so network members can attend training and pursue the International Standard for Business Aviation Handling (IS-BAH) accreditation in 2016 and beyond. Several Air Elite members currently hold IS-BAH accreditation or are working toward the certification. With the guidance of the Air Elite Network, all members can attend workshops and take steps to becoming accredited. Click here to read the full press release. To get more information about the IS-BAH program, please visit www.nata.aero/safety1st.