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The Lopez Group's INAEC Aviation Corporation has received its Stage 3 accreditation from the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (ISBAO), making it the first and only air transport operator in the country to get the accreditation for the level from ISBAO.

The accreditation was given to recognize INAEC’s successful establishment and integration of its safety management system (SMS).

The ISBAO refers to the standards set by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) for the best international safety standards among business aviation operators.

INAEC President Jay Lopez said the ISBAO was a perfect way for the company to “benchmark ourselves and measure our improvements over Stage 1, 2, and 3 and be able to compare ourselves to the best international operators in the world,” adding that it helps certify the safety of the company’s operations.

The systems, procedures, and processes of the company’s aircraft operations were examined in relation to its compliance with the ISBAO program.

To get the Stage 3 certification, an in-person audit by Mark Lilley, managing director of the Australian-owned company OmniSafe International, was conducted, involving technical inspections, document reviews, and personnel interviews.

“And one of the additional results of our Stage 3 recognition is that it allows us in INAEC to have a platform of confidence to grow our business not just locally but even internationally. It’s a message not just to us, but even companies like us in the Philippines, that we can be world-class,” Lopez said.

Capt. Florendo Jose C. Aquino III, acting assistant director general from the Flight Standards Inspectorate Service of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), lauded INAEC’s achievement, stating it as a demonstration of its commitment to providing clients and stakeholders safe and reliable aviation services.

“As the national civil aviation authority, CAAP has always aimed to achieve excellence and safety in air transport operations in the Philippines. That is why INAEC’s milestone in the ISBAO Stage 3 is a moment of pride for us as well. [INAEC’s] dedication to safety is an inspiration to us all, and we are proud to have INAEC as a partner in the aviation industry,” Aquino said.

Kurt Edwards, director general of the IBAC, also recognized INAEC’s accomplishment, citing the company’s “robust safety culture.”

“For me, it was a real pleasure to meet the team and see first-hand their enthusiasm with the engagement. I took away a genuine commitment to safety that is based on a framework that is transparent and clear to all of them. INAEC is also the only International Standard for Business Aircraft Handlers (ISBAH)-registered organization in the Philippines and they are looking forward to developing the SMS  in ground handling as they have done in aircraft operations,” he said.

“An effective SMS promotes a culture of continuous improvement and enhances safety and operational efficiency, and these are all things that customers appreciate, and it shows. The most recent audits of INAEC highlighted that the safety program of the organization was solid and had a top-down organizational buy-in and motivation to identify areas of improvement,” added Edwards.

INAEC is an airline company founded by the Lopez family of IloIlo. INAEC stands for IloIlo Negros Air Express Aviation Corp.

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