The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and IBAC have launched a comprehensive pilot programme for STARS or Standards & Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability. The pilot aims to evaluate the clarity and feasibility of the first of three tiers of the IBAC-supported framework for social and environmental standards to be implemented by aircraft operators and companies across the business aviation value chain.
The pilot, which runs from June to December 2021, is being conducted by six major European business aviation companies: Air Charter Service, a UK headquartered charter brokerage; Cat Aviation, a Swiss operator; Flyinggroup, a Belgian operator; Luxaviation, the global operator and FBO network; Time to Fly, a French aviation consultancy; and a Swiss corporate flight department.
The STARS mission is to introduce, for the first time, broad-based industry-wide practices that will supplement the existing globally recognised IS-BAO and IS-BAH for safety, as well as be made available standalone for organisations that do not operate aircraft, manage FBOs or provide ground handling services as part of their activities. The three-tiered sustainability accreditation employs a thorough auditing process conducted by industry professionals to ensure the integrity of the accreditation.
“STARS has set an ambitious goal to provide social and environmental guidance to all business aviation companies globally,” says EBAA secretary general Athar Husain Khan. “This pilot is putting that promise into practice by ensuring that all business aviation organisations can implement and comply with even the most fundamental environmental and social guidelines, such as appointing designated sustainability officers, establishing diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination policies, implementing voluntary carbon offsetting programmes and increasingly more as they progress up the tiers.”
“We are excited to launch this pilot and thank these six innovative businesses for their participation and support,” adds Bruce Parry, EBAA senior manager environment and STARS programme sponsor. “By integrating key sustainable practices into existing industry standards for operations and ground handling, we can all contribute to a better future for business aviation and the communities we serve.”
IBAC director general Kurt Edwards concludes: “STARS will provide a vital framework for members of the business aviation community to contribute to the broad range of sustainability needs as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Experiences in the pilot will allow us to refine the sustainability best practices, and we can begin to roll out the STARS programme across Europe in 2022 and globally by 2024.”
STARS was created in 2018 by young business aviation professionals from across Europe. Suited for small and large business aviation companies alike, it aims to help organisations address the social and environmental challenges outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).