Policy issues

Industry standards – International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH)

Industry standards – International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH)

The International Business Aviation Council (LINK ) (IBAC) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) have released the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH), the set of global industry best practices for business aviation ground handlers.

The IS-BAH is a win-win solution for the value chain of the entire industry. It establishes and promotes best practices amongst fixed-based operators (FBOs), provides visibility where it was previously lacking, and explains to airspace users the level of service they can expect from such crucial providers.

IS-BAH features, at its core, a safety management system (SMS), a voluntary registration process, auditor credentialing, audit approval process, a manual and a fully integrated implementation guide. The SMS component allows IS-BAH-registered handlers and FBOs to be recognised by their customers, particularly operators, as having a well-founded safety management development process. SMS maturity is a critical factor in the long-term recognition of the use of industry best practices that conform to ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

Modelled on the structure of the long established International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Program, IS-BAH incorporates the NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Program, and as one global industry code of best practices, it provides standardisation to handlers and operators around the world to meet the coming SMS requirements from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The IS-BAH is available for purchase in Europe through EBAA: Contact us. 

IS-BAH Programme update Dec 2019

Astin Aviation College Station / CLL KCLL CLL
Aviasur - Servicios Aéreos y Terrestres Santiago, Chile SCEL SCL
Banyan Air Fort Lauderdale / FXE KFXE FXE
Bombardier XSP Singapore / XSP WSSL XSP
Capital Jet Beijing ZBAA PEK
Corporate Air Service Delta Aero Taxi Pisa LIRP PSA
Delta Aerotaxi Corporate Air Service Florence LIRQ FLR
Duncan Aviation Battle Creek KBTL BTL
Duncan Aviation Kalamazoo KAZO AZO
Frankfurt Aviation Services Frankfurt, Germany EDDF FRA
Grafair Jet Center Stockholm ESSA ARN
Grafair Jet Center Stockholm ESSB BMA
Mapiex International Panama Pacifico MPPA BLB
PrivatPort / Swissport Geneva / GVA GVA LSGG
Royal Jet FBO Abu Dhabi OMAA AUH
Saudi Aramco Damman King Fahad Int'l OEDF DMM
Saudi Aramco Ras Tanura OERT
Saudi Aramco Tanajib OETN
Saudi Aramco Duba/Al Wajh OEWJ EJH
Saudi Aramco Haradh OEHR
Saudi Aramco Hawtah OEHW
Saudi Aramco Khurais OEKN
Saudi Aramco Pump station 3 OEPC
Saudi Aramco Pump station 6 OEPF
Saudi Aramco Pump station 10 OEPJ
Saudi Aramco Shaybah OESB
Saudi Private Aviation Jeddah / JED OEJN JED
Sky Prime Aviation Riyadh / RUH OERK RUH
Sobeys Trenton Nova Scotia CYTN YTN
United Aviation Services Madrid LEMD MAD
United Aviation Services Valencia LEVC VLC
United Aviation Services Barcelona LEBL BCN
United Aviation Services Ibiza LEIB IBZ
XJet EGSS London Stansted EGSS STN
Z-Aviation Services Cairo HECA CAI

Since inception of the programme in 2014, there have now been 209 locations who have successfully implemented, through to registration, IS-BAH at Stage 1.

Today, of those 209, 82 have reached Stage 2 and 2 have reached Stage 3. A big thank you to all who have made the programme THE International Standard for Business Aviation Ground Handling Service Providers.

Current list of IS-BAH locations can be found at:

IS-BAH Operators

ICAO / EASA Regulatory Update

The ICAO Ground Handling Task Force (GHTF) working document (ICAO Document 10121) has now finally been published by ICAO aimed at States, aerodromes, operators and GHSPs themselves. Work has now started on the next step with the ICAO GHTF and IBAC remain fully committed to this valuable workstream, ensuring the business and general aviation sector has a voice in rulemaking efforts.

IBAC continue to engage with ICAO States and the regulatory authorities through its 14-member associations, work continues with EASA and the with the next big task being the inclusion of ground handling service providers into the EC Basic Regulation for which the ToR for RMT.0728 have just been published.

The objective of this Rulemaking Task is to maintain a high level of safety, ensure a level playing field and support the free movement of persons and services in the EU, by establishing a regulatory framework for the provision of GH services, but also by identifying the necessary safety promotion actions and research activities to support implementation.

In addition, this rulemaking task (RMT) will incorporate RMT.0705 ‘Addition of a new requirement for the handling of dangerous goods at aerodromes’ to establish requirements for the aerodrome operators for developing methods for the delivery, storage, dispensing, and handling of dangerous goods at the aerodrome, which has been discontinued as a standalone RMT and is considered relevant to this task.


Latest Incident Data Intel

IBAC incident data (iro. 560 incidents):

  • 523 (94%) resulted in A/C damage;
  • 41% the A/C came into contact with GSE;
  • 57% occurred where aircraft not under own power;
  • 21% involve towing

Stress-test your SMS!

Do your systems have the necessary risk controls to prevent the following occurrences?

  • Ground employee reported a/c was towed into the gate with a tug not rated for the aircraft type.
  • Captain reported abruptly stopping on taxiway due to employee bus cutting across in front of the aircraft.
  • Flight crew reported they were unsure if their aircraft broke away from the tow bar because the tug driver was using nonstandard verbiage.
  • During push back the tug stopped, and driver advised us that our left wing may have contacted the wing of another aircraft
  • Ramp agent reported that an extremely loud warning signal in the tug being used for a push made it difficult to hear ground control’s instructions.
  • Tractor driver reported failing to communicate with the pilot due to lack of training when the aircraft disconnected from the tractor during pushback.
  • Flight crew reported a communication error during pushback that resulted in a broken tow bar and a delay.
  • Tractor driver reported the tug spun out while towing aircraft in windy and rainy conditions.
  • Tractor driver reported losing control of the tug while towing across an icy ramp.
  • Flight crew reported communication breakdown between flight crew and dispatch/ground personnel regarding battery powered mobility device transport configuration.
  • Aircraft experienced a ground collision with an unoccupied company aircraft during taxi
  • A/c received APU damage after being hit by ground stairs equipment
  • A/c was hit by a minibus maneuvering back. There were no injuries. The nose radome of the plane was damaged.
  • A/c sustained serious damage to the left-hand wing leading edge when it collided with an airport vehicle. The aircraft was moving along taxiway in night-time conditions. The vehicle fell over and the driver was injured.
  • A passenger not onboard the stationary aircraft sustained serious injuries upon contact with the aircraft’s rotating propeller
  • A/c detached from the tug and rolled down the apron. The right wing knocked over a mast and the aircraft came to rest across an airport road.
  • An aircraft struck a dog with the right landing gear a dog during takeoff.
  • A/C hit air stairs vehicle with its left wingtip. The winglet suffered some damage.
  • During maintenance, while being towed, the plane crashed into a hangar wall. The nose cone and the engine cowling were damaged.
  • The parked airplane was substantially damaged in a severe storm, by blown around containers and heavy equipment.
  • A/C knocked over a light pole with the left-hand wing
  • A/C was taxiing from the ramp to the runway when the left-hand wingtip struck the rudder of another parked aircraft
  • Aircraft landed and struck a deer.
  • A/C tow bar malfunctioned, tug ended up under aircraft

A/C was hit by mobile boarding stairs. The aircraft had just landed after a flight. On the apron the underside of the left-hand wing tip was struck by the boarding stairs, causing cracks.

Where do I go for help?


Are we making a difference?

Currently 209 IS-BAH registered locations globally think it’s worthwhile.

“The IS-BAH registration audit process has helped us set even higher standards and confirms our commitment to provide the safest possible operating environment.”


“When selecting a handling provider, the ISBAH certification it is absolutely recommended! “


“This market-leading and standardised measure for handlers, FBOs and operators worldwide is a programme we strongly believe in and one we will be implementing in all our FBOs.”


How do we spread the word?

To start, begin to recommend better ways of doing what you already do.

Believe in the change and speak up. Think of change not as a destination, but as a carefully designed process. Driving that process is a professional capability made up of important knowledge and skills that can and must be learned. By developing a deeper understanding of why change is difficult, how change initiatives go off track, and how to mitigate the risks, you can become a successful change agent—someone who can transform promising ideas into concrete, positive results.

IS-BAH™ Contacts

Terry Yeomans

IS-BAH™ Programme



Larry Fletcher

 Audit Manager


Yvonne Marinus

Auditor Accreditation Manager


Chloe Fleurant

 Programme Support Manager


Further details can be found on the IBAC website: http://www.ibac.org

Current planned workshops can be found at:

IS-BAH Workshop Schedule

Need more information ?

Please contact Belarmino Goncalves Paradela at bgparadela@ebaa.org