Support for IATA air safety audit grows

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) honoured two governments—Chile and Egypt—for their leadership in promoting safety by incorporating the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) into their safety oversight programmes. Moreover, the association’s 261 members, representing 94% of scheduled international traffic, commended the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC) for the resolution passed at its recent General Assembly urging its sixteen member states to require IOSA registration for any carrier based in their territories or using their airports.

The IATA Annual General Meeting also formally approved a resolution requiring that all IATA members be IOSA registered. All new members of the association will be required to pass IOSA before they join. And all existing members must contract for an IOSA audit by the end of 2006 and complete an audit by the end of 2007 to retain membership.

“We are serious about safety,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “IATA is a quality association and we have set the bar high to ensure that our membership represents best practice in safety. At the same time we are encouraged that governments not only understand the benefits of IOSA, but also are using it. I encourage more governments to use this great tool.”

IOSA was launched in 2003 as the industry’s first global standard for airline safety management. Fully 189 member airlines and 57 non-members are now in the IOSA process, representing over 80% of scheduled international traffic. IOSA registration lasts for two years, at which time a recurrent audit is required to ensure ongoing compliance with IATA standards.

IOSA standards are based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and industry best practice and are freely available to any commercial airline as part of IATA’s commitment to safety. For airlines with limited resources, IATA’s Partnership for Safety programme is helping to bridge the gap. The scope of Partnership for Safety expanded from Africa to include Latin America. In both regions, the number of accidents is disproportionately large when compared with traffic volumes.

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“Safety is our number one priority. Last year was the air transport industry’s best year ever with an accident rate of 0.76 per million sectors—one accident for every 1.3 million flights. IATA members did considerably better at 0.35 per million sectors - one accident for every 2.9 million flights. Governments increasingly accept the IOSA standard. And we will do our utmost to ensure that all IATA members are on board by the deadlines. But after the deadline, we cannot accept any exceptions. Safety is just too important,” said Bisignani.
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