Fast 5: Qatar Airways On Acing IOSA Audit

Qatar Airways has scored 100% on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) since the first in 2003. Ian Lachlan, the airline’s chief technical officer, discusses Qatar’s approach to audits.

How does Qatar prepare for the IOSA audit?

There is no specific preparation enacted for the audit since safety is part of the Qatar Airways’ DNA each and every day. Ensuring we have staff available to support the auditors, if needed, is the only preparation needed and this is built into our staffing schedules in advance so that the auditors have the resources and support they need to conduct a thorough and complete audit.

Do you have any advice for airlines preparing for the IOSA audit, particularly in maintenance and engineering?

As mentioned, safety needs to be a part of the culture of any MRO and engineering facility; staff who know the rules, regulations and, most importantly where to find info or report any deviations from regular process is essential. With that, often no specific additional preparation is required. 

Qatar Airways

Is IOSA effective in its purpose to optimize operational processes for airlines? If not, what could make it better?

IOSA audits meet a need in the aviation industry to ensure that all carriers operate to the same standards and with the same focus on safety. International regulations are created for this purpose and the IOSA audits are a mechanism to ensure airlines across every continent meet these requirements. The other benefit of the IOSA audits, as they are performed by third-parties, is to assure external stakeholders--such as governments, partners, customers or even shareholders--that your airline is operated to the highest safety standards. In that, the IOSA audits are highly effective and are trusted across the aviation realm. 

For the Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance section, what were the key findings (what was noted on the audit)?

We do not share findings, if there are any, externally but all feedback provided by the auditors is raised to senior management and immediately corrected or addressed. Safety is and always has been Qatar Airways highest priority.

Companies in the aviation industry undergo many audits annually. Do you think the quantity of audits could be consolidated—to save the industry time and money—yet maintain the same safety record?

Safety audits are not only a way to ensure safe operation in the industry as a whole, but they can also be undertaken to address any concerns or questions that may arise from interested third parties; as well as conducted internally to ensure all staff are compliant and trained properly. Thus, while the IOSA audits are the accepted industry standard, Qatar Airways recognizes that additional audits will also be necessary and internal audits especially contribute to the safe operation of our airline.

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