International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)

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A First for Australian Business Aviation

June 25, 2012

For the first time, an Australian business aviation operator has been awarded International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Stage 2 certification by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC).

Revesco Aviation, based in Perth, Western Australia, received its accreditation in May, just two months after receiving its IS-BAO Stage 1 registration.

“Our operations revolve around the continuous implementation of the highest safety standards,” said Peter Hillier, the charter operator’s head of flight operations. “The achievement of Stage 2 IS-BAO registration reflects our steadfast commitment to the safety of our customers, employees and the operation of our Citation, Challenger and new Gulfstream aircraft.”

IS-BAO safety audits certify graduated levels of safety management system (SMS) development, according to IBAC Audit Manager John Sheehan.

“The objective of a Stage 2 evaluation is to confirm that safety management activities are appropriately targeted and safety risks are being effectively managed. Consequently, a Stage 2 renewal audit focuses on assessing the appropriateness and effectiveness of the safety management system, which is the core of the IS-BAO program,” he said in a statement issued by Revesco Aviation on its achievement.

Third level certification signifies a fully mature SMS program, according to auditors.

The Australian Business Aircraft Association (ABAA) hailed this achievement as a boost for both IS-BAO and ABAA members.

“Revesco Aviation was the first business aviation operator in Australia to gain IS-BAO registration in 2009,” said ABAA Executive Director David Bell. “This was a trail blazing achievement, in the true spirit of Western Australian entrepreneurship at the time, and paved the way for several other Australian companies who have since gained IS-BAO registration. Accreditation with Stage 2 IS-BAO is most significant and marks another milestone for Revesco.”

Bell said at least two other ABAA members are working toward their IS-BAO Stage 2 certification.

Even as ABAA helps its members reach IS-BAO certification, Bell said the organization is also focusing on vital advocacy efforts “down under.” With 22.5 million residents, Bell likened Australia to Southern California in terms of population, but pointed out his country has fewer business aircraft. There are approximately 160 jets and 250 turboprop aircraft in the nation’s business aviation fleet.

“We have a relatively small business aircraft fleet. However, the business jet fleet has more than doubled in the past 10 years,” he explained.

Bell outlined the ABAA’s top three priorities as:

  • Business aviation access to Australian capital city airports at fair and reasonable prices.
  • A review by the Australian government of the priority system in Australian airspace and within the capital city CTRs.
  • Slot allocations for business jets at Sydney Airport during peak periods. Sydney is the only airport in Australia that has a slot allocation system (6 a.m. to 11 p.m.). Currently, it is difficult for business jets to obtain slots in peak periods.

“Australia is out of step with USA, Canada, U.K. and parts of Europe, where the first come, first served system mostly prevails. This is not the case in Australia. Our system, which is embedded in legislation and regulation, would appear to be a carry-over from the antiquated Australian Domestic Two Airline Policy of the 1980s,” Bell said.

Bell, like his counterparts in business aviation organizations worldwide, condemns the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) which he believes will adversely affect his organization’s members flying to Europe. But he has another, similar concern that is much closer to home – the advent of a new Australian carbon tax that dramatically impacts the price of both 100LL and Jet-A.

Right now, the excise tax on domestic aviation fuel is 3.556 Australian cents per liter (ACPL). Beginning July 1, the tax will almost triple to 9.53 acpl for Jet-A and 8.61 acpl for Avgas. By 2014, the tax will rise to 10.16 acpl and 9.14 acpl respectively. International flights will not be affected by the increase in the Australian aviation carbon tax.

Bell said Australian aviators, however, will continue to persevere. “Australia business aircraft numbers have continued to grow whilst providing reliable, secure and fast transport for those organizations and business leaders who have the foresight to utilize business aviation to profitably grow their enterprises.”