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Ctrl, Alt, Delete – Part IV: Advantages

IS-BAO, SMS | September 3, 2015

Author: Scott Macpherson

There are many advantages touted regarding the implementation and sustained use of an SMS and the IS-BAO/IS-BAH. However, there seems to be a disconnect between what authors think operators will find advantageous and what operators actually care about.

In the small flight department I ran, we were seeking three main advantages when we decided to pursue IS-BAO registration. They may be useful to some of you:

  • Exceptional Team Building

We had been through some discord and needed a team project to help us rely on and trust each other, not just in the airplane or the maintenance shop, but also in our broad environment. The IS-BAO gave us a structured way to review our processes related to safety, operations, maintenance, head office relations, budgeting, training, and many other functions and responsibilities.

It was exciting to see even the most skeptical participant take responsibility for an area of the project and work to tie it together with all the other relevant areas. By the time we received the first IS-BAO registration certificate, the group wasn’t looking back.

  • Proof of maintained or improved safety, more time for flying, less office work, more accurate and automated reporting, lower part-time support requirement because of less paperwork/office time, and measurable results. (Okay, that’s more than three advantages just in this bullet point, but they all fit together…)
  • More satisfaction and enjoyment at work.

There are many more advantages that flight departments find with IS-BAO registration and maturity, but for those who have a positive safety culture, IS-BAO registration isn’t really a point of discussion – they just wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that our small, formerly battered flight department ended up in that position. Though a merger ended our days together, those who were there at the end still talk about how “right” we had it for the last few years.

I wish the same ultimate advantages for you.

The next entries in this Ctrl, Alt, Delete series will be about meaningful SMS measurement, not just loose “goals.”

Part I | Part 2 | Part 3


Scott Macpherson is the President and Founder of and Vice-Chairman of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) Governing Board. He is currently Captain on a Falcon 900LX.

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