Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013 - 48

First NATA Safety 1st FBO Audit Completed
Continued from page 47

an FBO, ranging from the
company’s management system
to environmental policies and
procedures.
1.	 Management System
— Section 1 evaluates the
management policies and
procedures of the organization.
2.	 Safety Management System
and Quality Assurance —
Section 2 evaluates the facility’s
safety program, emergency
response procedures, and
quality assurance procedures.
3.	 Training — Section 3 evaluates
the training programs (i.e.
general training, hazardous
materials training, vehicle and
equipment training, security
training, and more) of the
facility.
4.	 Standard Operating
Procedures — Section 4
reviews the standard operating
procedures of the facility
to ensure they are properly
documented and executed. This
includes aircraft marshaling,
taxiing, fueling/defueling,
deicing, and more.
5.	 Security — Section 5 reviews
the security policies and
procedures of the facility.
6.	 Occupational Safety and
Health — Section 6 reviews
the facility’s occupational
safety and health policies and
procedures to ensure the facility
is in compliance with state
requirements. (Note: This is not
a full OSHA audit.)
7.	 Environmental — Section
7 reviews the facility’s
environmental policies and
procedures, including storm

48	

water pollution prevention,
hazardous materials handling,
and underground storage tank
requirements.

First Audit: Lessons Learned
The on-site portion of the audit
was conducted at one base of an FBO
with a few locations. The FBO is not
notably different in size, shape, or
make up from any other FBO in the
country. It is not a part of one of the
large chains nor is it a “mom-and-pop”
organization. It is a happy medium in
terms of fuel sales, daily operations,
and so on. Because this audit was the
first “real” one of its type, the auditor
was conservative in timing and allotted
two and a half days to conduct the onsite portion of the audit. The company
is currently in their 120-day window
to review and correct findings so I will
not disclose the company’s name or
location at this time.
However, a number of lessons can
be gleaned from the initial audit.

Document
Everything!
Lesson 1: Document everything!
The NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit
Standard requires an FBO to say what
they do and do what they say; in other
words, every standard must be met
with written, implemented policies,
processes and procedures. In this
particular facility, high turnover is
an unfortunate, but not uncommon,
concern. Written policies and
procedures can help ensure that new
personnel perform to your standards
and existing personnel continue to
perform in a consistent manner. Be

sure your company’s policies and
procedures are well-documented.
Lesson 2: The goal is to exceed
requirements. For this audit, line
operations and safety training are
particularly important. Many of the
ground handling training programs
— including the NATA Safety 1st
program — available to FBOs only
require training every 24 months.
This facility has fully implemented
the NATA Safety 1st program and
meets the 24 month requirement.
However, the Ground Audit Standard
requires training every 12 months in
most cases. There is no need to make
this requirement too difficult though.
Continue to use the training program
you currently use. Just write a policy
in your manuals that every applicable
employee will complete recurrent
training every year and set a schedule
to be sure that training is in fact
completed. This could be the entire
PLST program or an overview of
selected modules. (Note: The NATA
Safety 1st PLST is not the only formal
training acceptable for this audit — it
is just one method of meeting the
training standards and happened to
be the program used at this location.)
Lesson 3: Be prepared. Electing to
complete this audit is a commitment.
Certain resources are necessary to
perform the audit. If you intend to
commit employees to the process only
for the few days an auditor is onsite,
frankly, do not waste your time. You
will need to spend some time getting
prepared for the audit. It might be
in your best interest to review the
checklist several weeks or months prior
to the audit to gauge how you think
your facility will perform and to close

Aviation Business Journal  |  1st Quarter 2013



Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013

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