International Aviation Standards: government-to-government and government to non-governmental organization

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EASA Recognizes IS-BAO SMS for Third-country Ops

EU, U.S. Seek to Reduce Regulatory Redundancies

Aviation Global, Standards increasingly International


Government to Non-governmental Organization

Aviation is among the most global of industries and there is a trend among the civil aviation authorities are trending towards greater cooperation. The number of agreements between and among these aviation safety organizations involve recognition of the other sovereign’s competence and even mutual adoption of the same standards.

The first article extends this concept; here EASA is accepting the standards and ‘certification of a Non-Governmental Organization, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). That recognition of an NGO represents a new level of international cooperation.

Insertion requested by EASA

The second article addresses the government-to-government effort at working to a more common set of standards.

  1. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) was founded on 15 June,1981; in 1989, it was formally recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) representing the interests of business aviation worldwide and was given permanent observer status with ICAO.

The Council currently includes 14 business aviation associations around the world, representing the industry for their 11,000 members across six continents.

Its first objective is to ensure that the needs and views of business aviation on a global scale are clearly presented to, and understood by, those national and international authorities and organizations which influence the safety and efficiency of economic use of business aircraft operating internationally. IBAC. The Council is managed by a Secretariat with headquarters in Montréal, Canada).

IBAC developed the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), a recommended code of best practices. The Standard, using the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS), defines comprehensive, systematic high levels of safety and professionalism, which share many of the principles of Safety Management System (SMS).  Demonstrating that an operation complies with IS-BAO (upper left) is recognized by a certificate (center) and is subject to regular audits (right). Three functions which are ordinarily thought to be the sole job of a CAA.

Now, the European Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed the ability of non-EU-based business aviation commercial operators to use the IS-BAO safety management system program to satisfy certain third-country operator authorization requirements. This extends a 2016 EASA recognition of the IS-BAO as the basis for TCO authorization.

IS-BAO’s recognition by EASA is an accomplishment for IBAC, but it also represents a new form of international cooperation.

2.   Aviation authorities further systems approach in latest U.S.-EU aviation safety agreement revision

by Crystal Maguire  Sole Proprietor Maguire Law


| Aug 15, 2018


A recent revision to the aviation safety agreement between the U.S. and the European Union paves the way for increased efficiencies as the entities seek to enhance reliance on each other’s certification systems and minimize redundancies in regulatory approval and oversight.

The revisions to the bilateral agreement have been driven by the validation improvement roadmap (VIR), which was developed by the U.S.-European Union Certification Oversight Board at the direction of the Bilateral Oversight Board. Its objective is a 20% reduction in validation time and cost by 2022. The VIR takes a risk-based, systems approach, putting the onus on the original certificating authority, requiring little to no technical assessment on the part of the validating authority.

Under the revised plan, more certificates and approvals would qualify for reciprocal acceptance (e.g., certain major changes, alternative means of compliance and minimum equipment lists), while those that are not mutually accepted would be evaluated based on risk-based principles rather than a comprehensive review of compliance findings.

VIR objectives drove a safety agreement modification and subsequent Technical Implementation Procedure (TIP) revision that went into effect last spring. The change allows for the reciprocal acceptance of all repair data, a process that has long been sought by industry. A recent amendment to the TIP revision further narrows the validating authority’s role and provides the impetus for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to reduce the fees it charges U.S. manufacturers to validate their design approvals.

According to the EASA, the revisions demonstrate “that both the FAA and EASA fully subscribe to the philosophy that safety in today’s global aviation market depends to a great extent on international partnerships between aviation regulators.” The agencies are pursuing a systems-based approach, in lieu of transactional methods that would eliminate redundant regulatory approvals which have little to no impact on aviation safety.

The VIR also recognizes the need for airworthiness requirement harmonization, setting forth a “supporting” objective for the certificating and validating authorities to agree on a single certification basis. While the agencies take incremental steps toward simplification, the maintenance community continues its call for a systems-based approach to parts documentation. Efforts to persuade the European authority to wholly recognize the FAA’s parts documentation system, which industry argues produces equivalent safety outcomes, has so far been unsuccessful.





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1 Comment on "International Aviation Standards: government-to-government and government to non-governmental organization"

  1. EASA sees a need to comment on the article by Mr. Sandy Murdoch in JDA Aviation on 22 August 2018 regarding EASA’s requirements for the Safety Management System of commercial third country operators.

    In the article it is stated that “EASA is accepting the standards and ‘certification of a Non-Governmental Organization, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC)” and that “That recognition of an NGO represents a new level of international cooperation”.

    This statement is misleading and has potential to confuse affected operators, as they could assume that a certificate issued by IBAC would be recognized by EASA as sufficient to demonstrate compliance with applicable international SMS standards without further verification.

    This is not the case. Operators are free to utilize on a voluntary basis any third-party SMS program of their choice, including the IS-BAO program. EASA will then perform its own assessment of the effective implementation of the operator’s SMS, based on actual SMS deliverables.

    EASA would appreciate this important topic to be corrected in the coming issue of the publication.

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