International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)

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The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its member associations, is a recommended code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve high levels of safety and professionalism. IS-BAO is an industry standard built for operators, by operators that provides standards based on the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). Both the FAA and CAA in Canada recognize IS-BAO as meeting the ICAO standard. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) also recognizes IS-BAO as an industry standard for business aircraft operations.

IS-BAO was amended in 2012 to facilitate implementation by helicopter operators. This was a joint effort between IBAC, the helicopter associations HAI, BHA and EHA. Learn more on the IBAC website.

IS-BAOWhile developing and maintaining a Safety Management System (SMS) is not required under current FAA regulations, the industry is projecting that by as early as 2014 the FAA could mandate SMS compliance for Part 135 operations. There are over 700 IS-BAO registered operators in the U.S. and around the world, and that number continues to grow as more flight departments and operators begin to see value in not only managing a safe aviation environment, but empowering a whole organization to be involved in a safety culture.

As a parallel program to IS-BAO, IBAC and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) have developed International Standard for Business Aircraft Handlers (IS-BAH), a set of global industry best practices for business aviation ground handlers that features an SMS as its core. Learn more about IS-BAH.

For an outline of the topics covered, review the IS-BAO Table of Contents

Additional information about IS-BAO is also available on the IBAC web site.

Purchase IS-BAO

U.S. operators may purchase IS-BAO materials through NBAA, an IBAC-affiliated association.

When you order the IS-BAO materials, you will receive:

  1. A copy of the IS-BAO in a three-ring binder
  2. A copy of the generic company operations manual (GCOM) in the version of your choice
  3. A CD-ROM with the IS-BAO and four possible versions of the GCOM so that you can develop your own company operations manual (COM).
  4. A copy of the Safety Management System (SMS) Toolkit developed by IBAC.

You also have the option to purchase a stylized COM binder, with index tabs, in a flight bag size (5.5 inches by 8.5 inches), such that you can modify it to personalize the cover with your company details.

Price for IS-BAO and accompanying materials:

  • NBAA Member Companies – $1,200
  • Non-Members of NBAA – $1,650

Price for optional COM binder and tabs: $12

The price for the IS-BAO includes all additional material such as the Generic Company Operations Manual, SMS Tool Kit and availability of the Standards Manager to answer queries on the code of practice.

Order IS-BAO now through the secure online form.

Additional information about IS-BAO, including a schedule of upcoming IS-BAO Workshops, is available on the IBAC web site.

Recent News

IS-BAO Program Managers Seeking Input to Refine Safety Standard Further
Aug. 18, 2014
Each year, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), a set of best operating practices for business aviation, is updated through a painstaking process that begins with ideas submitted by operators to the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), the industry organization that manages IS-BAO. IS-BAO is improved and refined based on the input of operators around the world, said IBAC's IS-BAO Program Director Sonnie Bates. "Our favorite way to get that input is face-to-face," Bates said. "We also send out emails to the industry each year, asking operators and auditors how IS-BAO can better serve them." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on IS-BAO.

IBAC Official Explains Upcoming Changes, Recommendations to 2014 IS-BAO Program
Nov. 25, 2013
One significant change in the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) program for 2014 is new guidance on best practices for conducting instrument approaches in certain weather. The guidance is timely because, in recent years, the International Civil Aviation Organization has barred commencement of an approach if conditions are known to be below minimums at the destination airport. Listen to this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast, the second in a two-part story about the changes coming for IS-BAO in 2014.

Changes and Recommendations Coming for IS-BAO Program in 2014
Nov. 18, 2013
As 2014 begins, new recommendations will be reflected in the voluntary International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) program, The changes were recently adopted by the Standards Review Board (SRB) for the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC ), which administers the IS-BAO program. Wary of “standards creep” (the spread of new standards without regard to the number already obooks), the SRB has trimmed some program standards deemed duplicative. Of the 120 new standards and recommendations proposed for 2014, only a handful has actually been passed into policy by the SRB, according to IBAC Audit Manager John Sheehan. Listen to a NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on IS-BAO standards for 2014.

IS-BAO Workshops Well Received Around the World
July 18, 2013
This year's workshops on implementing the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), hosted by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), have been well attended, with nearly 330 aviation professionals participating in the first 36 sessions held around the world. Nearly a dozen more summer IS-BAO workshops are scheduled at locations worldwide and the sessions continue throughout the world through the end of the year. IBAC’s IS-BAO workshops are designed to assist operators who are implementing or considering implementing IS-BAO, as well as to accredit potential IS-BAO auditors and provide information to others interested in qualifying for the standard. Learn more about IS-BAO workshops.

Two IS-BAO Workshops Featured at ABACE2013
April 11, 2013
In its ongoing effort to promote safety, the International Business Aviation Council is presenting two full-day workshops on the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) in conjunction with the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE2013) in Shanghai, China, from April 16 to 18. The Fundamentals of IS-BAO Workshop will be held on April 19, followed by the Auditor Accreditation Workshop on April 20. IS-BAO is a voluntary multi-step process that raises the level of operator safety. Learn more about IS-BAO workshops.

Operators Value IS BAO for Team Approach to Safety
February 22, 2013
A set of global best practices developed by and for the industry, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS BAO) offers an opportunity for flight departments to focus on safety as a team. And for flight operations of any size that are interested in learning how to implement IS-BAO’s team approach to a safety management system (SMS), workshops are being offered this year in nearly 30 locations worldwide, including dozens in the U.S., as well as in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. Learn more about the value of IS-BAO.