BAS awarded key Iata accreditation
Manama, July 1, 2010
Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) has been awarded a key accreditation from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The Iata Safety Audit for Ground Operations (Isago), announced yesterday, follows Iata's successful completion of the exercise at BAS ground operations.
'Modelled on the success of Iata Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), it uses internationally recognised ground operation standards and recommended practices,' BAS chairman Fawzi Kanoo told a Press conference at the Mšvenpick Hotel.
'The audit, conducted by experienced auditors, provides ground services providers (GSPs) with a model for operational risk and safety management in their organisations,' he said.
'For the first time, there is also a system for registration and sharing of audit results,' he added.
Kanoo said Isago offers benefits to airlines, ground handlers, regulators as well as airport authorities.
'Among these benefits are safer ground operations, fewer incidents and injuries, elimination of redundant audits, reduced costs, a uniform audit process, harmonised standards, improved safety oversight, harmonised auditor training and qualifications, improved quality standards and an enhanced understanding of high-risk areas within ground operations,' he said.
He said the implementation primarily aims to improve aviation safety and cut airline costs by drastically reducing ground incidents and injuries.
'This is the latest Iata initiative focusing on ensuring that all aspects of ground handling, including all systems and procedures involved, are in strict compliance with the procedures put in place by our customer airlines at Bahrain International Airport.
'We are now one of few companies in the region to qualify for this prestigious accreditation and this further demonstrates our relentless commitment to meeting the highest international standards.' He said the event was a great milestone for BAS.
Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs Under-Secretary Captain Abdul Rahman Al Gaoud said IOSA will standardise airline operational practices to one common audit.
'This has resulted in a level of standardisation which all airlines and regulatory bodies welcome.'
BAS chief executive officer Phil Bowell said Iata recognised that the ground handling component of this process, when completed by a third party organisation like BAS, could benefit from similar standardisation of approach.
'It covers all aspects of ground handling functions, including management, training and by definition quality,' he said.
The audit covered both management and operating departments, against 368 and 127 standards, respectively.
This was achieved by inspecting BAS operating manuals, documentation and organisation and management systems and making sure that BAS safety procedures were in conformity with the Isago standards.
'The station audit covered passenger and baggage handling, load control, aircraft handling and loading, aircraft ground movement, cargo and mail, and workshop,' said Bowell.
'It also intensively looked into training at all levels. This is part of our on-going commitments to ensure that all its standards, processes and procedures are in compliance with the Isago standards.'
He said BAS is committed to offer customers risk-free and safe passenger and cargo handling, so airlines can focus on their core business.
Gulf Air chief executive Samer Majali said Isago is modelled on the Iata Operational Safety Audit which the airline has been awarded for the last four years.
'I can assure you the hard work and commitment involved in achieving accreditation is far from insignificant.
'But the benefits are unquestionable. By using a standardised global audit system conducted using internationally recognised quality auditing principles, the audits provide an internationally renowned benchmark for global aviation and airport companies and their customers to use.'
He said with both Gulf Air and BAS having successfully completed the Iata audits, the synergy between them had been strengthened.
'This further serves passengers by offering a more seamless service in line with industry best practices.'-TradeArabia News Service