Montreal – The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 2012 Operations Committee (OPC) agreed to four main priorities to guide IATA’s safety initiatives over the next 12 months. These are:

Pilot and Engineer Training: Accommodating the growth in demand for air connectivity with trained pilots and engineers is a priority. IATA will facilitate this with the IATA Training and Qualification Initiative (ITQI), which moves into its implementation stage. The focus will be on working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) and regulators to shift to a competency-based approach to training for pilots and engineers.

  • ITQI takes a comprehensive approach to training by addressing aptitude testing, multi-crew pilot licensing, evidence-based training and instructor qualification.
  • Training modernization is based on ensuring the core competencies of pilots and mechanics as defined in the first phase of ITQI (2007-2011).

Alongside training modernization, ITQI will also promote mutual recognition of standards for pilot and engineer licensing and certification of flight simulators.

Enhanced IOSA: The Enhanced IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program will include measures to ensure continuous conformity with IOSA standards and recommended practices (ISARPS) with quality control processes and self-auditing in between IOSA’s two-year audit cycle. A timeline for the implementation of Enhanced IOSA will be proposed for endorsement at the next OPC meeting in October. Since the end of 2008, IOSA has been a condition of IATA membership and has been supported by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and ICAO along with other key regulators around the globe.

Ground Operations: A dedicated IATA ground operations team was created to support the IATA Ground Handling Committee as it drives safety and efficiency improvements. The Committee’s agenda includes (1) the further development and implementation of the just released IATA Ground Handling Manual (IGOM), (2) developing a standard set of ground handling instructions, and (3) the further development of the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO). These are cornerstones of the industry’s effort to improve ground safety while reducing the $4 billion cost of ground damage.

Harmonization: The OPC urged governments to focus on the implementation of targeted safety measures instead of adding costly and cumbersome regulations that do little to improve safety. Over the next months, IATA will submit three priority areas for industry to work with ICAO, the US FAA and EASA with a goal of harmonization.

“Safety remains the top priority. We have a full agenda to make an already safe industry even safer. Industry and governments have always cooperated to achieve our common goals based on global standards and harmonization. The need to take those even further in the areas of training, ground safety, and auditing will be our priority over the coming year,” said Guenther Matschnigg, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Safety, Operations and Infrastructure.

The OPC took place alongside the IATA Ops Conference which was jointly hosted by IATA and the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) in Rio de Janeiro from 16-18 April. With Brazil as the setting, there was also a focus on infrastructure preparedness to meet the demands of the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics including the optimization of air routes and implementation of Performance-Based Navigation. “The major world events that Brazil will be hosting are a catalyst for infrastructure improvements. These are needed to accommodate Latin America’s long-term needs in light of aviation’s key role in the region’s robust economic growth,” said Matschnigg.

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Notes for Editors

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 240 airlines comprising 84% of global air traffic.
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