ISAGO overhaul paying off and more plans are in the pipeline

posted on 20th August 2019
ISAGO overhaul paying off and more plans are in the pipeline

Overhauling the IATA Safety Audit of Ground Handling (ISAGO) has been a “game-changer” and plans are afoot for more change, delegates heard at IGHC.

ISAGO was given a revamp by IATA in 2017 and last year was the first full year that the new audit model was used across the ground handling industry.

IATA’s acting head of ground operation audits, Paul Fleming told delegates future plans could see it further rolled out as he has been charged by IATA’s board of governors to explore a potential mandate of ISAGO for the association’s member airlines.

He said this is only at an exploration stage and one of the options and ideas being looked at but admits it will be tough to carry out due to the sheer number of ground service providers (GSP) across the globe and IATA cannot do an audit for all these GSPs.

“We need more out of the box thinking,” Fleming said. “We need a collaborative approach moving forward.”

In 2019, he said auditors will carry out 250-300 audits across the globe at 50 new locations, which is part of a shift by GSPs to choose different stations to be audited. Fleming noted that the more stations of GSPs audited the better.

Fleming told delegates that in 2018 245 audits were carried out and of those, 4776 findings were discovered, a sharp increase on 2017 when the previous ISAGO model was used.

The new ISAGO audit saw a shift in focus to corporate management and oversight of ground operations, standardisation and results. Fleming said audits are now more in-depth and better auditors are used.

There are currently 186 ISAGO registered GSPs operating in 311 stations at 211 airports worldwide, but still a lack of airlines, as only 17 are ISAGO registered.