IATA wants to reduce the complexity of audits

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) aims to reduce the complexity of audits through the Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) programme.

The initiative has two components, standardising the global audit programme and the committed audit reduction.

The SFOC Audit Certification provides airlines with the assurance that certified facilities are adhering to IATA’s Resolutions and Recommended Practices in cargo handling and with IATA’s Cargo Handling Manual.

It is estimated 360,000 days per year are wasted on redundant cargo handling audits, and the programme aims to reduce redundant efforts by 50% through removing the need to validate generic cargo operation procedures.

The Audit Reduction Commitment pledges to reduce audits, with airlines undertaking a gap analysis to determine what standards will not need to be assessed for SFOC certified facilities.

Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo at IATA says: “Auditing is critical to ensure the global standards that underpin the safe and efficient operations in the aviation industry. IATA’s strong capabilities in auditing have been proven in the successful IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and CEIV programmes. The SFOC programme will bring this expertise to general cargo handling operations.”

The initiative will start in Singapore, with SATS and Singapore Airlines the first organisations to join the SFOC programme.

Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president cargo at Singapore Airlines says: “The combination of both the SFOC audits and our own audits serves to provide a comprehensive picture of our service partners’ capabilities and operational quality, while improving audit efficiency for us and our service partners.”

Yacoob Piperdi, CEO of SATS Gateway Services says: “The certification affirms SATS’ consistent standards and the quality of our service. We hope other airlines will follow this example to realise the SFOC programme’s full audit efficiencies for the entire industry.”