Introduction to IS-BAH – Get Started

IS-BAH-CoverImplemented on July 1, 2014, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) is designed to promote use of industry best practices blended through a progressive Safety Management System (SMS) for Fixed Based Operations (FBO) and Business Aircraft Handling Agencies (BAHA). It provides baseline requirements for structuring a FBO/BAHA in the planning and conduct of their operations; it challenges these organizations to review their current systems, programs and procedures, recognize strengths and weaknesses in those procedures, and upgrade to a higher standard. The standard is based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices in the preparation of handling business aircraft.

IS-BAH is an industry code of best practices developed by the international business aviation community for the benefit its members. It is the group’s contribution to promoting highly professional operational practices that will build on the excellent safety record already established by business aviation. Conforming to these standards and recommended practices is voluntary and may be self-administered. However, recognition for implementation of and conformance to the standards is available via an auditing process that results in an IBAC certificate of registration.

The program centers on the Safety Management System (SMS) developed by ICAO and other operations-critical industries. It leads the operator from establishment of beginning principles to a sustainable SMS and operations program to a performance-based, risk averse culture for both large and small FBO/BAHA’s. Audits conducted every two years ensure conformance with the standard and provide valuable feedback to the operator. The registration certificate issued upon successful completion of an audit serves as proof of compliance with several key ICAO standards, which are required for operations in number of countries.


Audits concentrate on SMS development through a gradual process of advancing maturity:

  • Stage One confirms that the SMS infrastructure is established and that safety management activities are appropriately targeted. All supporting standards have been established.
  • Stage Two ensures that safety management activities are appropriately targeted and that safety risks are being effectively managed.
  • Stage Three verifies that safety management activities are fully integrated into the operator’s business and that a positive safety culture is being sustained.


More than 700 business aviation operators in 35 countries are currently IS-BAO registered, which continues to improve their safety risk profile and operating effectiveness and efficiency.  These business aviation flight operations, as part of their SMS requirements, seek verification of the level of proficiency of the handling of their business aircraft.  IS-BAH provides a means of conformity to those requirements.

Benefits of IS-BAH

IS-BAH registered FBO/BAHA’s will benefit from the same advantages experienced by current IS-BAO registered operators, who are enthusiastic in their praise of the program noting that since implementation they experience:

  • Enhanced operational safety through predictive and proactive methods
  • A sense of teamwork and pride of achievement among their personnel
  • Improved efficiency and effectiveness through an integrated management system
  • Increased senior management understanding and appreciation for the flight department
  • Reduced insurance rates (see USAIG and Global)
  • The ability to measure overall department performance


Getting Started in IS-BAH

  1. Purchase the IS-BAH Manual, which contains the standards (13 Chapters) and the IS-BAH Implementation Guide from an IBAC regional or national affiliate.
  2. Conduct a gap analysis between your organization’s standards and procedures and those of the IS-BAH program.
  3. Send a representative from your organization to an IBAC approved “Fundamentals of IS-BAH” workshop; listed on the IBAC website.
  4. Develop procedures to identify hazards and eliminate the quantified risk or reduce it to acceptable levels using a broad range of guidance material provided with the standard.
  5. Integrate procedures into department systems, programs operating procedures and manuals, again using materials provided.
  6. Complete an IS-BAH audit by selecting an accredited IS-BAH auditor from the IBAC website.





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