International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)

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United Technologies Achieves IS-BAO Stage 2 Rating to New Helicopter Standard

November 14, 2012

The United Technologies Corp. (UTC) flight department has received “Stage 2” certification to the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) code of best practices for safety, becoming one of the first operators to achieve that level with the recently added helicopter standard.

UTC’s flight department operates a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in addition to eight fixed-wing aircraft.

The Stage 2 IS-BAO designation means that the UTC’s safety management system (SMS) is “functioning with the results being measured,” according to the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), which administers the IS-BAO program. Launched in 2002 to promote professional operating practices, IS-BAO requires participating organizations to develop and maintain a formal process to identify and mitigate potential safety hazards in aircraft operations. IBAC added a helicopter standard for 2012 to “permit helicopter operators to better identify with and conform to the basic IS-BAO standards,” the council said.

“With a Stage 2 registration, United Technologies has demonstrated through a third-party audit that they are managing the inherent risks associated with their flight department in a proactive and predictive manner,” said Jim Cannon, director of the IS-BAO program. “Stage 2 also demonstrates that the operator is conducting internal audits on a periodic basis, conducting safety committee meetings on a regularly scheduled basis, incorporating the lessons learned from the risk-mitigation processes developed within their safety assurance process, and conducting appropriate safety training and development as the personnel within the organization become fully aware of the principles of SMS.”

Paul Anderson, UTC’s corporate flight department manager, said he is pleased with the recognition.

“It’s always a good thing to have an outside set of eyes look at your organization and validate that your processes and procedures meet or exceed a recognized set of standards that represent best in class,” Anderson said.

To qualify for the designation, UTC “followed the standard and cross-referenced the standard requirements with our corresponding procedures to ensure we complied with all requirements and could show where in our documentation we did so,” Anderson explained.

UTC previously achieved IS-BAO’s first level, Stage 1, which indicates that an operator’s SMS is “documented, approved, resourced and being implemented.” Anderson said UTC will now pursue the next and highest stage, Stage 3, which, according to IBAC, indicates an SMS is “sustained and supported by an ongoing improvement process and a positive safety culture is sustained.”