View Full Version : Ansett staff turn auditors

15th Jan 2004, 21:51
Fri "The Australian"

Ansett staff turn auditors
By Steve Creedy
January 16, 2004

A COMPANY formed by ex-Ansett employees after the airline's 2001 collapse has become only the third in the world qualified to audit airlines under a new global safety regime.

Melbourne-based Aviation Compliance Solutions (ACS) joins United Airlines and Lufthansa Flight Training subsidiary Aviation Quality Systems as companies accredited to scrutinise carriers under the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program.

Driven by airline complaints about audit costs, IOSA aims to replace individual and often disparate safety checks with a global standard.

The current regime requires airlines to undertake as many as 12 audits a year at a cost of about $US100,000 ($129,000) each.

The IOSA system will require an audit every two years.

IATA's 275 members are expected to seek IOSA registration and undertake their first audit by the start of 2006.

ACS is moving to take advantage of the new international horizons opened up by the qualification.

It has 10 auditors who have qualified under the program's strict guidelines. It is pitching its services to airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Eva, China Airlines and South African Airways.

ACS is already looking at expanding its staff to cope with the additional business.

"It's really helped us kick our business into what I call the big league, out there with the large international operators," said managing director Jackie Barnes. "We're quoting to operators that perhaps we would never have had direct access to in the marketplace without having attained this accreditation.

"That's all really exciting to us. IATA called us the little red train because they said we were just 'we think we can, we think we can' - and finally we went to Montreal just before Christmas and signed the contract."

According to Ms Barnes, the idea of forming a consultancy stemmed from approaches from other airlines while she was quality assurance manager at Ansett.

The approaches for help in areas such as audits and rewriting manuals convinced her there was a niche that needed filling.

The consultancy was set up in December 2001, and "got legs" early in 2002 when Virgin Blue became its first client.

Virgin has since been joined by regional operators such as Skywest and National Jet Systems as well as the New Zealand regulator.

Twelve of ACS's 15 staff are ex-Ansett, primarily from flight operations and the airline's compliance and quality assurance department.

"With a team of consultants comprising ex-pilots, flight and aircraft engineers, airport managers and compliance and security experts, and a combined total of more than 250 years in the industry, ACS is the largest specialist consultancy in this country," Ms Barnes said.