The European Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed the ability of non-EU-based business aviation commercial operators to use the IS-BAO safety management system (SMS) program to satisfy certain third-country operator (TCO) authorization requirements, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) advised in a recent notice to affected operators.
In 2016, the EU implemented its mandate for non-EU business aviation commercial operators to obtain TCO authorization to conduct flights in the EU. In a July 23 letter to IS-BAO program director Bennet Walsh, EASA confirmed the requirement for such operators to self-declare and provide evidence upon request of SMS implementation as part of the TCO authorization.
But the letter added, “In the ambit of EASA TCO authorization, operators are free to utilize on a voluntary basis any third-party SMS program of their choice, established either by civil aviation authorities, industry associations including but not limited to the IS-BAO program of IBAC, or commercial entities.” Regardless of the program, EASA will assess SMS implementation based on deliverables, EASA further said.
EASA already has issued nearly 200 TCO authorization to operators implementing IS-BAO SMS, according to IBAC said. IBAC, however, further advised that only EASA has the authority to determine the methods of compliance. “Non-European authorities do not have that competence,” it noted. The association offers an online guide outlining the application process.