The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) was introduced by the International Business Aviation Council, LTD (IBAC), in 2003. IS-BAO was developed by the industry for the benefit of the industry. It is a code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve a high level of safety and professionalism.


The IS-BAO includes SMS requirements, organization and personnel, standard operating procedures, training programs, flight operations, operations in international airspace, aircraft equipment requirements, aircraft maintenance requirements, company operations manual, emergency response plan, environmental management, occupational health and safety, transportation of dangerous goods, and security.

In summary, since 2010, all operations in ICAO member countries must demonstrate an SMS, Operations Manual, and Fatigue Management System. How will YOUR department prove compliance? A successful IS-BAO audit by an accredited auditor provides an operator the documentation to substantiate conformity, and in some areas in excess of the basic requirements as recognized by all ICAO members.

Many departments find themselves re-writing their Operations Manuals (this sometimes requires a consultant or other resources) to be IS-BAO conforming and then ensure they are conformant with their new manuals. The standards are not a mystery and are clearly defined. The final task is to arrange an audit. A department should know when they are conforming through self or external auditing and an IS-BAO audit should not be a painful “search and destroy mission.” There are different stages of IS-BAO, with Stage Three (requires re-certification every three years vice two) defined as executing a fully ‘mature SMS’.