ExecuJet Group FBO director Mark Abbott praised the recently developed International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH), a set of best practices for business aviation ground handlers through a safety management system (SMS). The IS-BAH, which has been developed by Terry Yeomans and his team at IBAC, follows the long established structure of the IS-BAO programme; the latter has more than 700 operators in 35 countries already registered.
The programme supplies requirements for structuring an FBO in the planning and conduct of its operations. It challenges organisations to review current systems and procedures and to highlight strengths and weaknesses. Audits will be carried out every two years and recognised with an IBAC certificate of registration.
Says Abbott: “I think IS-BAH is very exciting and very important. We now have a global industry code of best practices that provides standardisation to handlers, FBOs and operators worldwide. IBAC and NATA (National Air Transport Association) joined forces to establish IS-BAH, which is overdue.
“I've been involved in developing audits for FBOs for many years, but we've never had a market leader or an internationally recognised standard for assessing safety risks.”
He believes that FBOs have always 'sat on the side' in the past and never had to comply. “Anybody and everybody in this network should seriously consider joining the programme, as improving our standards is critical. It further bolsters and strengthens the strict guidelines and regulations that we follow.
"We've had conference calls just this week with the Middle East, with Europe and with Africa, and I've got all directors in our network to buy into this. There has been no reservation whatsoever, and we are going to 'IS-BAH' all our FBOs.” Being based in Africa, where ExecuJet has FBOs in Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg, Abbott finishes by saying that IS-BAH will heighten confidence in the region: “Africa is alive with opportunity; there will be peace of mind for operators coming into these locations.”