The Air Charter Safety Foundation a non-profit aviation safety organisation with 255 member companies, recently held its annual Auditor Workshop in a daylong virtual setting. Important to the session's attendees was the fact that much of the audit course content was updated to ensure that the participating auditors be current on new regulations and industry standards.
Companies represented for the workshop included: ARG/US, Aviation Safety Solutions, Aviation Safety Consultants, FAA, International Business Aviation Council and Wyvern. The attendees represented a wide gamut of aviation professionals, including: FAA and SMS providers, Part 135 and 91K operators, Part 91 flight departments, current and aspiring IAS auditors and NBAA Certified Aviation Managers.
Led by Russ Lawton, the ACSF's VP of operations, course topics for the well-attended session included a host of newly updated, aviation safety-related issues and procedures. In particular, the ACSF has streamlined its Industry Audit Standard (IAS) to enable aviation operators who undergo that process to show compliance with Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 5, the requirement for a company to have a safety management system (SMS).
As most aviation industry professionals are aware, this regulation is required for commercial aviation, but will soon become a requirement for Part 135 operators as well. Undergoing the ACSF audit will enable operators to gauge their compliance with FAR Part 5, as well as the FAA SMS voluntary implementation programme, and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 19 (the ICAO standard for SMS).
The revised Auditor Workshop agenda included topics, such as: a brief history of the ACSF's Industry Audit Standard; operator standards and guidance material, including IAS checklists, protocols, reports and processes; SMS update by Mike Schwartz, aviation safety inspector, FAA; and Safety 1st training, International Standard for Business Aircraft Handlers (IS-BAH) and digital electronic report submission by Steve Berry, manager of fuel quality and safety with National Air Transportation Association.
Russ Lawton was enthusiastic about the attendance, and said the agenda included some safety-related topics that are critical for nearly any aviation operation. “We were extremely pleased by the participation from experienced auditors,” he notes. “I think everyone involved would agree that the attendees gained a lot of really valuable information, especially those that are looking to undergo the audit and become registered to demonstrate compliance.”
One attendee, Bob Bauer, president, CompAv Technical Services in Conway, New Hampshire, said that the workshop was “thorough and well-presented.” He adds: “The revised audit standard documents, updated forms and audit report components were also thoroughly discussed in detail, and supporting presentations by the FAA and NATA were also well-received.”
Likewise complimentary of the event, attendee Mary Harshbarger, the director of safety and the manager of inflight service for Sun Air Jets in Van Nuys, California, states: “The workshop provided useful insight on how auditors think, how they interpret the standards and what they are looking for when analysing a company like Sun Air Jets. I would encourage other safety directors to take this course to prepare themselves for external audits.”
The National Business Aviation Association approved the ACSF Auditor Workshop with one credit for the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) certification or recertification.