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For Canadians, and anyone else feeling over-regulated

Regs | January 15, 2014

Author: Scott Macpherson

The IS-BAO is a voluntary, industry-driven best practices standard that benefits operators even if regional requirements mean additional steps to ensure ongoing eligibility for IS-BAO registration. The IS-BAO has now been recognized by at least two of the major aviation insurance underwriters with at least 5% premium discounts, making it not only operationally but financially beneficial to become IS-BAO registered.

Canadians have reason to be proud of the IS-BAO and may, due to familiarity with the language, fail to recognize Canadian origins of much of the standard. Even after 10 years of annual amendments, there are significant sections of the standard itself and the guidance material/sample documentation that are based directly on the CBAA BA-OSS, the CARs, and contributions by Canadians. This demonstrates that although the world doesn’t know the origins of these contributions, they recognized their relevance and validity.

The IS-BAO was the way out of the mess that the Transport Minister made by cancelling the POC program, and it still stands as the only real method for Canadians to measure themselves against world-recognized best practices. Members of the CBAA have representation by IBAC at the international level, so the IS-BAO is particularly relevant and helpful to Canadians despite the Minister’s failure to comprehend its value to Canada.

The IS-BAO has matured now to the degree that your underwriter must, at least for competitive reasons, provide you with financial consideration which will likely offset the cost of purchasing and auditing against the IS-BAO.

A final point is that for operators serious about achieving and measuring excellence, the IS-BAO is used as a format for a thorough internal review of every element of the operation. If done properly, and there are good examples, the result should be replacing reactive work with good planning and effectiveness tracking, reducing duplication of effort, cohesive teamwork across department functional groups, and more time flying and maintaining than stamping out fires and fixing broken machines and processes.


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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