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)

EAN Aviation Becomes First African Safety 1st Qualified Location to Appear on NATA’s Global FBO/Ground Handler Status Map

EAN Aviation, of Lagos, Nigeria is the first African company to receive the Safety 1st qualified designation.

To read more about EAN Aviation’s latest achievement, click here.

The FBO/Ground Handler Status Map launched in April to highlight FBOs and ground handlers that are Safety 1st qualified and/or (IS-BAH) registered. View the map at www.fbostatus.com.

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.

IS-BAH: What Can It Do for You?

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

It’s Getting Hot Out! | OSHA & Heat Stress

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”:

  1. Permitting workers to drink water at liberty;
  2. Establishing provisions for a work/rest regimen so that exposure time to high temperatures and/or the work rate is decreased;
  3. Developing a heat stress program which incorporates the following:
    1. A training program informing employees about the effects of heat stress, and how to recognize heat-related illness symptoms and prevent heat-induced illnesses;
    2. A screening program to identify health conditions aggravated by elevated environmental temperatures;
    3. An acclimation program for new employees or employees returning to work from absences of three or more days;
    4. Specific procedures to be followed for heat-related emergency situations;
    5. 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:

  1. Explains how your body handles heat
  2. Helps employees understand how hot environments increase likelihood of accidents
  3. Explains how and why your body cooling system may fail
  4. Identifies the types of heat-related illnesses
  5. Explores the environment factors and unique personal factors causing heat illness
  6. Reviews the basic preventative measures to reduce the risk of heat stress

For more information on the NATA Safety 1st OSHA module on heat stress visit www.nata.aero/safety1st or email us at safety1st@nata.aero

CONGRATULATIONS: TEXAS JET AND I.A.M. JET CENTRE EARN IS-BAH CERTIFICATION

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.

Free Webinar | Slow-Onset Hypoxia

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.

Free Registration – Click Here Now