Executive Summary

Executive Summary | Standards Board | HAI-APS Staff | IS-BAO Staff

The Next Evolution in HAI Safety Programs

HAI-Accreditation Program of Safety: A Premier Member Benefit

“Safety First” isn’t just a poster and reducing your accident rate to zero — or preserving an already-good safety record — isn’t just a feel-good thought. Accidents have real consequences, for both people and businesses. As HAI President Matt Zuccaro has commented, “If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident.”

The Next Evolution of the HAI Safety Programs

Since 1948, Helicopter Association International (HAI) has brought together industry leaders within the helicopter community to help develop, support, and promote industry best practices through concentrated safety program participation. Over the past 50-years, this effort, along with enhanced operator training programs, better equipment, and internal quality assurance and auditing programs has led to an overall safer helicopter industry; as depicted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Accident/Incident statistics.

HAI Platinum Program for Safety

While HAI has always supported the incorporation of industry best-practices into company standard operating procedures, in 2002, HAI took that philosophy a step further and created the HAI Platinum Program of Safety. The HAI Safety Committee comprised of industry leaders from around the world identified a set of well-established “recommended best-practices” that were acknowledged to enhance helicopter safety. These recommended practices served as the cornerstone and basis for qualification into the Platinum Program of Safety. This program led the adoption of a true safety culture in many helicopter operations.

The Platinum Program of Safety focused on four pillars that support safety:

  • Management
  • Operations
  • Systems
  • An Aviation Safety Program

Operators requesting Platinum Program of Safety status self-certified that they adhered to the 4 program pillars and that they had adopted, 1. An Operations Manual, 2. A Comprehensive Training Program, 3. Conducted Annual safety audits, 4. And Maintained Operational Statistics for data mining purposes.

While Platinum Program of Safety served its purpose in creating a just safety culture and properly maintained a concentrated focus on helicopter safety, in 2015, the program evolved to what is now known as the HAI Accreditation Program of Safety (HAI-APS), (scheduled to launch January 1, 2016).

HAI Accreditation Program of Safety (HAI-APS).

Built on the principals of a just safety culture, quality assurance, and a continuous focus on safety improvement, the HAI-Accreditation Program of Safety (HAI-APS) helps participating member operators “fly to a higher standard” of safety and professionalism. The HAI-APS is intended to help HAI Regular Operator Members improve their safety culture and further reduce industry accident and incident rates.

The HAI-APS incorporates the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) standards as its foundational core and then includes 1 or more of the 14 possible HAI-APS Helicopter Mission-Specific Standards (HMSS). IS-BAO promotes the use of high quality operating practices for domestic and international business aircraft operations. As noted on www.ibac.org, IS-BAO provides baseline requirements for structuring flight departments, planning, and conducting flight operations; it challenges flight departments to review current systems, programs and procedures, and recognize strengths and weaknesses in those procedures. The IS-BAO standard is based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards that prepare the operator for both domestic and international operations.

Operators wishing to become HAI-APS Accredited can elect to become IS-BAO Registered or simultaneously become IS-BAO Registered and HAI-APS Accredited using the same third-party independent auditor who’s primary function is to validate that an operator not only meets the federally mandated minimum acceptable safety standards, but has adopted and documented processes and procedures that allows the operators to conduct operations at a higher level of safety for any given helicopter mission.

The HAI-APS offers operators an opportunity to become “HAI-APS Accredited” in any one of the 14 mission-specific standards, each covering a different segment of the helicopter industry. These standards were developed to encourage the implementation of industry best practices and the development of controls to mitigate risks associated with a particular helicopter missions.

While not all helicopter missions are specifically addressed within the HMSS, the HMSS applies to all helicopter operators. In the event an operator conducts missions outside the scope of the current HMSS, HAI will work with that operator to develop a set of best practices and thus expand the scope of the program. As such, operators of such missions can expect additional support from HAI in the form of research and development of those standards.

Beginning January 1, 2016, the following mission-specific categories are addressed within the HMSS:

  • Aerial Application
  • Airborne Law Enforcement
  • Air Tour
  • Corporate and VIP Transportation
  • Electronic News Gathering (ENG)
  • Aerial Film and Photography
  • External Loads and Heavy Lift
  • Flight Training
  • Helicopter Air Ambulance
  • Heli-Skiing
  • Off-Shore
  • Pipeline and Power Line
  • Wildlife Management and Mustering

Unlike other safety program checklists, the HAI-APS and each HMSS checklist is maintained on a fully automated cloud-based system that can be downloaded by registered member operators on any desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, or Android device to make the HAI-APS program easy to adopt and maintain. Traditionally, safety program software was developed for management teams, and then it was a battle to get employee engagement. HAI-APS uses a cloud-based application that provides an excellent user experience. Our goal is for every member operator to have access to the best mobile safety management and accreditation program software and to enhance the safety statistics their given helicopter mission.

The Path to HAI Accreditation

Take the First Step Today Toward Improving Your Safety Practices

Purchase the IS-BAO and HMSS standards. You will receive a confirmation of your purchase, and the IS-BAO standards will be mailed to you within five business days. A password will be emailed to you so you can download the HMSS. If you elect to purchase the iAuditor application at checkout, a link will be emailed to you and you will be able to automatically sync the audit templates as they are updated. We look forward to helping you begin your journey toward “flying to a higher standard.”

1. Purchase Standards. The first step in becoming an HAI-APS accredited helicopter operator is to purchase the IS-BAO and HMSS standards and support materials.

2. Conduct Gap Analysis. Perform a gap analysis of your operation by comparing your existing policies, procedures, and safety management system with the standards.

3. Revise and Develop. Revise your existing policies and procedures to meet the standards, and develop any required new ones. The standards are performance based and accommodate different operations and their methods of achieving the same results.

4. Prepare for Audit. The HAI-APS mentoring team provides complimentary support — through telephone calls, exchange and review of documents, and site visits, as needed — to help you achieve accreditation under the HAI-APS program.

5. Undergo Audit. Schedule and undergo your audit(s). HAI-APS auditors are also qualified to conduct IS-BAO audits, allowing you to realize cost savings by having both audits conducted concurrently.