IATA launches programme to raise global cargo handling standards

Posted: 13 December 2019 | | No comments yet

The programme will aim to reduce audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities and therefore reduce redundant audit efforts by 50 per cent.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the ‘Smart Facility Operational Capacity’ (SFOC) programme, aiming to raise the global standards in cargo handling operations by reducing audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities.

IATA’s Global Head of Cargo, Glyn Hughes, said: “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.”

IATA have distinguished two components in their initiative: The Standardised Global Audit Programme and the Committed Audit Reduction.

Standardised Global Audit Programme

Through the introduction of the Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit Certification (SFOC Audit Certification), IATA will provide airlines with the assurance that SFOC Certified facilities are adhering to IATA’s Resolutions and Recommended Practices in cargo handling and with IATA’s Cargo Handling Manual.

An estimated 360,000 days per year are wasted on redundant cargo handling audits – the new programme will aim to reduce redundant efforts by 50 per cent.

Committed Audit Reduction

IATA have made an industry pledge to reduce audits, encouraging participating airlines in the SFOC programme to undertake a gap analysis to determine which audit standards will not need to be assessed for SFOC certified facilities. Airlines will provide clear visibility on the potential audit reduction for SFOC certified facilities. 

Chin Yau Seng, Senior Vice President of Cargo at Singapore Airlines, an SFOC programme launch partner, said: “The SFOC certification, which we have worked closely with IATA to refine, allows us to sharpen the focus of our own audits of our handling agents. This zooms in on SIA-specific procedures, and enabling even greater emphasis on safety and security. 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.” 

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