The International Air Transport Association began rolling out a new safety program this week that puts in place the first global audit process for airlines. For the first time, the IATA Operational Safety Audit program (IOSA) will enable airlines to review their safety processes using a world-wide standard.
"Safety is IATA's top priority," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General & CEO. "In these difficult times for the airlines, IOSA introduces a best-of-breed safety review process that will contribute to achieving our ambitious safety objectives."
Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said, "Qatar Airways is pleased to be the first airline audited under the new program. IOSA was developed to bring harmony and efficiency to the airline operational safety audit environment. There is no doubt that these attributes will make a significant contribution to aviation safety."
By offering a single internationally accepted audit process for airlines, IOSA will replace a multiplicity of current audit practices that until now lacked common standards and consistency. An IOSA audit will remain valid for a two-year term. This means that airlines save time, manpower and the expense of performing repeated audits mandated by governments to establish code-share agreements.
Under IOSA, accredited auditors assess an airline's operational management and control systems, including the areas of corporate organisation and management, flight operations, operational control, flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, aircraft ground handling, cargo operations and operational security. Transport Canada, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, and the US Federal Aviation Administration have participated in the development of IOSA.
In September, IATA accredited the first two audit organisations – AQS GmbH in Germany and United Airlines in the US. With all IATA Member airlines committed to undergo the IOSA audit, IATA is in the process of appointing more audit organisations to meet this demand.
Dr. Assad Kotaite, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) welcomes the IOSA program "as complementary to ICAO's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme for States. IOSA can evolve into an integral component of States' overall efforts towards optimum aviation safety."