IBAC rallies to support the business aviation community remotely
As IBAC calls on ICAO to adjust the CORSIA emissions baseline (it has requested only 2019 figures, versus the average annual level of emissions between 2019 and 2020, are used for the offsetting component) - it is also adapting and modifying its own services to try and preserve an element of continuity for the global business aviation community.
From the outset IBAC has issued regular COVID-19 updates, and just recently became a member of CAPSCA (Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation). This enables the Council to push out periodic up-to-date information related to the pandemic from ICAO, the WHO, and other key stakeholders, to members of the business aviation sector.
Remote activity has become the new norm as the global organization embraces the opportunity provided by technology to fulfil its regular tasks. For example, it continues to produce Aircrew Cards and certificates of registrations for IS-BAH and IS-BAO organizations remotely. A new enhanced IBAC website, planned before COVID-19, was launched in the midst of the pandemic and continues to be enhanced.
In March it introduced the IS-BAO and IS-BAH COVID-19 Remote Auditing options, and is also holding regular webinar style workshops. This temporary solution to the auditing process has already seen several operators and FBOs take advantage of this safe alternative while IBAC navigates the pandemic’s impact on traditional auditing methodology.
By using many of the virtual connecting tools available today, auditors can connect with the organizations, review documentation, and interview relevant staff members that are required for the audit. “There are inherent limitations of this temporary remote audit option, like auditors not being able to assess the culture of the organization, so we have limited this option to Stage 1 and 2 audits only,” explains Director General Kurt Edwards.
An initial set of IS-BAO workshops for auditors in Australia, Manila, Beijing, and Seoul has seen IBAC remotely deliver four, four-hour sessions. “These were deemed a success, and, with a few lessons learned, we recently held our (previously scheduled) Atlanta workshop virtually as well,” says Edwards.
Seven of twelve IS-BAO remote audits have been completed and the virtual projects are going well. “Two of the successful remote audits involved new Progressive Stage 3 program beta operators and the web-based IS-BAO workshops have been well attended with nearly 90 registrants for the Fundamentals and Auditing classes.” Despite the IBAC team being spread across three continents it is actively moving forward on the IS-BAO FlightPlan Stage 1 and Progressive Stage 3 initiatives too.
The first remote IS-BAH audit has been completed and is currently being reviewed, with another five remote audits due in the coming weeks. The feedback has been positive from both IS-BAH organizations and auditors. “We hope to hold the first set of online IS-BAH workshops in June, after the planned annual IS-BAH Standards Board meeting which will also now be held virtually,” adds Edwards. “The IBAC safety programmes are global, intended for an international audience and we must be able to continue to provide a range of global options for the time being.”
The remote auditing will be available through to August 2020 at which point IBAC will review the options as the virtual method is not intended to replace the traditional audits. Edwards acknowledges the use of a virtual platform may further enhance and support the traditional on-site auditing, noting “there may be a mix of in-person and webinar-based events in the future as it’s important for us to connect with our business aviation community in-person.”
Looking past the pandemic Edwards asserts that business aviation has natural structural advantages that will allow it to return to normal operations quickly. “We are uniquely able to rapidly help get individuals and teams in place to restart commerce in large cities and in small localities around the world. That nimbleness is critical to helping economies begin to come back. IBAC’s focus will be on making sure ICAO policy makers understand that and pressing for guidance that allows all operators and airports open at the soonest when it’s deemed safe. In short, we are trying to remain resilient and provide support to our members.”
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 7th May 2020 | Issue #556
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