Proflight Zambia’s dream and vision to be the first airline in Zambia to be registered as an IATA member draws even closer with the initiation of the required IOSA audit being undertaken inside the airline this week.
The process to become an International Air Transport Association (IATA) member is no easy task, with the support of the IATA training initiative for Africa, a scheme endorsed by all African States as part of the Abuja Declaration, IATA provided intensive training to 33 Proflight staff on the complexities, standards and recommended practices that IATA need to see active within an airline before it can be considered to become a member.
The training undertaken in the three IATA workshops in March 2015, August 2015, and January 2016 also included exercises in emergency response procedures training, dangerous goods initial and recurrence training, safety management system training, security awareness, and safety awareness.
The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is the final verification of the process and once concluded and all items found during the audit closed and verified by IATA in Montreal, Proflight Zambia can then start the registration phase of IATA membership.
“Safety is the number one priority for all of us at Proflight,” said Captain Phillip Lemba, Proflight Zambia’s Director of Government and Industry affairs. “Our staff have been working relentlessly to ensure we are ready for the audit this month and we are confident that we are ready to become the only airline in Zambia to achieve this important international standard.”
“It’s almost two years since Proflight decided to take the necessary steps to becoming IOSA-compliant. This project meant the forming of an IOSA Task Force and an IOSA Steering Committee to work on putting in place the IOSA Standards and Recommended Practices (ISARPs) throughout the organisation,” he added. “Over the past 20 months, Proflight has held weekly Task Force meetings and weekly Steering Committee meetings and has embarked on an intensive training program to conform with the IOSA standards.”
Hence Proflight is undergoing 900 operational procedure checks, known as ISARPs, against which the airline is being inspected (audited) by a team of five IATA auditors who will spend a full intensive five days verifying the eight disciplines that make up the Critical Elements of the Airline.
From the audit, Proflight Zambia will have to satisfy each finding to conform to the IOSA standards before it can be put onto the IOSA registry. Once on the IOSA registry, the airline can apply to become an IATA member.
IOSA is an internationally-recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. It is based on industry-proven quality audit principles and designed to ensure each audit is conducted in a standardised manner in order to achieve consistent results.
IATA members carry 83 percent of the world’s air traffic and include the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines. The IOSA audit is a universally-accepted benchmark of safety audits throughout the world. Attaining IATA accreditation will elevate Proflight’s safety credibility so that the airline can more easily agree (or enter) into code-share agreements with international airlines.
The benefits of IOSA certification are many: it reduces insurance premiums, allows for quicker processing of new code-share agreements, increases code-share opportunities, and provides a controlled system to share audit results, with an added benefit of IATA quality assurance. Still further, it brings improvement in management system and operational efficiency.