|The below information is
the sole copyright of the Aviation Research Group/U.S., and
the latest updates can be accessed here.
|Quality and Safety Requirements
ARG/US expects an operator to engage in quality programs
and business practices that not only ensure good service,
but enhance the safety, operational and maintenance standards
established by the FAA or applicable Civil Aviation Agency
Regulations (CARs). Therefore, ARG/US has established
a set of air carrier quality and safety requirements that
reflect the type of programs and practices ARG/US seeks
from air carriers who provide transportation for our clients.
An ARG/US survey team will use the following requirements:
the specifics of any applicable contract, the provisions
of the CARs, and the experience of the ARG/US safety
inspection personnel to evaluate an air carriers capability
to perform for the customer. The survey will also include,
with the carrier's coordination, observation of cockpit
crew performance, as well as ramp inspections of selected
Operators who have a good historical safety history,
meet the ARG/US equipment and personnel standards, and
a pass a satisfactory on-site survey conducted by ARG/US
personnel, will be awarded the ARG/US Platinum Rating
for Air Carrier Quality and Safety Standards. Surveys
are conducted on a bi-annual basis throughout the duration
of the contract, or more frequently if needed to validate
continued adherence to the ARG/US quality and safety
requirements. ARG/US personnel will also assess these
quality and safety requirements when conducting periodic
air carrier database performance evaluations. These
CHEQ reports, also conducted by ARG/US, involve research
into various government and private data files to assess
the health and performance of the carrier.
These air carrier requirements are neither all-inclusive
nor inflexible. They describe concepts by which the
carriers are expected to operate, not the specifics
of how management should implement these systems. All
carriers are expected to demonstrate compliance with
applicable CARs, as a minimum. Adherence to the ARG/US
requirements will vary with the size of the carrier
and the sophistication of the carrier's management structure.
ARG/US expects carriers seeking a contract with the customer
to have accumulated at least 12 months experience providing
similar service to the public.
||Air Carrier Management
Management of the carriers must have clearly defined safety
as the number one company priority, and safety is never
sacrificed to satisfy passenger concern, convenience,
or cost. Policies, procedures and goals which enhance
the FAAs minimum operations and maintenance standards
should be established and implemented. A cooperative response
to FAA inspections, critiques, or comments should be demonstrated.
Proper support infrastructure, including facilities, equipment,
parts, and qualified personnel, should be provided at
the carrier's primary facility and en route stations.
Personnel with aviation credentials and experience must
fill key management positions. An internal quality audit
program or other method capable of identifying in-house
deficiencies and measuring the company's compliance with
their stated policies and standards should be implemented.
Audit results should be analyzed in order to determine
the cause, not just the symptom, of any deficiency. The
result of sound fiscal policy must be evident throughout
The carriers establish policies that promote flight safety.
All aircrew and operational personnel are driven by these
safety policies, and they translate them into practice.
Available safety data reaches all personnel promptly.
Deviation from safety policy is not considered as an option.
Each carrier audits itself to detect unsafe practices,
and findings are revealed to management, including safety
problems. Management is supportive, and takes prompt action
to resolve unsafe conditions.
Flight operations policies and procedures are up-to-date,
reflect the current scope of operations, and are clearly
defined to all flight ops employees. Employees adhere
to these procedures, supported by a flow of current safety
and operational communications from management. Managers
are in touch with mission requirements, supervise crew
selection, and work to reduce unacceptable risk. Flight
crews exercise their professional judgment during flight
activities, without economic or scheduling pressure from
management. There is opportunity for feedback from line
crews to operations managers. Personnel records are thorough,
and reflect such data as experience, qualifications, and
||Flight Crew Hiring
Established procedures ensure that applicants are carefully
screened, including a review of the individual's health
and suitability to perform flight crew duties. Consideration
is given to the applicant's total aviation background,
experience, and potential to carry out the mission safely.
If a carrier hires cockpit crewmembers who do not meet
industry standards for experience or qualification, then
management provides additional training and observation
to ensure high standards are maintained.
The carriers tailor valuable training resources to meet
CARs, improve safety, and avoid mishaps. Crew Resource
Management (CRM) is taught, practiced and evaluated during
all phases of operations training. Flight and mission
simulation is used for training if available. Flight and
cabin crews practice emergency procedures together on
a recurring basis. All training is realistic, in that
it resembles the mission requirements faced by the carrier
during daily operations. Instructors are highly qualified
and skilled in training techniques. Records of training
are current and audited by operations management.
||Captain Upgrade Training
ARG/US requires carriers to use a selection process that
considers experience, decision making, and CRM when selecting
pilots for upgrade to captain. Training and evaluation
are provided, concentrating on adherence to safety procedures,
and captain responsibilities and authority.
Carriers schedule crews with safety as the primary guide.
Management closely monitors the scheduling process, to
evaluate risks, assess the experience level of crews,
and ensure the proper pairing of crewmembers. Carriers
avoid pairing inexperienced first officers with new captains.
The scheduling system tracks flight and duty times for
pilots as well as flight attendants, and trips are managed
to ensure CAR compliance as well as fatigue reduction.
When carrier crews are observed performing flight duties,
they demonstrate a thorough knowledge of, and ability
to perform, normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures.
Crews are disciplined, using company and regulatory standardized
procedures, adhering to checklists, and emphasizing safety
in all phases of operations. Qualified carrier personnel
evaluate aircrews, analyze results, and provide feedback
to the training division to eliminate performance deficiencies.
Flight crews are able to accurately determine an aircraft's
maintenance condition prior to flight, and use standardized
methods to report problems to the maintenance division.
||Operational Control and Support
Effective mission control includes communications with
aircrews and the capability to respond to irregularities
or difficulties. The carrier provides clear written procedures
for mission preparation and flight following aircraft
and aircrews. Crews and decision makers have access to
weather, flight planning and maintenance data. The company
has personnel available to respond to the latest developments
who are qualified to make decisions and provide guidance
in aircraft performance, maintenance, and emergency situations.
Operations and maintenance work closely together to resolve
problems. The corporate emergency response comes from
a written plan, which the entire company acts from, in
concert. Flight crews have guidance on reporting accidents
and incidents, and the company thoroughly inspects damaged
aircraft before releasing them for flight.
Maintenance supervisors ensure that, in spite of scheduling
pressure, peer pressure, supervisory pressure, or other
factors, the aircraft must be airworthy prior to flight.
Passenger and employee safety is a primary management
concern. Quality, completeness and integrity of work are
trademarks of the maintenance manager and maintenance
department. Non-conformance to established maintenance
practices is not tolerated. Management ensures that contracted
maintenance, including repair and overhaul facilities,
is performed by maintenance organizations acceptable to
Carriers are expected to hire and train the number of
employees required to safely maintain the company aircraft
and support the scope of the maintenance operation both
at home station and at enroute locations. These personnel
ensure that all maintenance tasks, including required
inspections and airworthiness directives, are performed,
that maintenance actions are properly documented, and
that the discrepancies identified between inspections
are corrected. Mechanics must be fit for duty, properly
certificated, with the company verifying certification,
and these personnel must possess the knowledge and the
necessary aircraft-specific experience to accomplish the
maintenance tasks. Non-certified and inexperienced personnel
must receive proper supervision. Freedom from alcohol
and drug abuse is required.
||Quality Assurance (Continuing Analysis and Surveillance
A system that continually analyzes the performance and
effectiveness of maintenance activities and maintenance
inspection programs is required for all carriers. This
system evaluates such functions as reliability reports,
audits, component tear-down reports, inspection procedures
and results, tool calibration program, real-time aircraft
maintenance actions, warranty programs, and other maintenance
functions. The extent of this program is directly related
to the carrier's size and scope of operation. The cause
of any recurring discrepancy or negative trend is researched
and eliminated. Action is taken to prevent recurrence
of these discrepancies and preventive actions are monitored
to ensure effectiveness. The results of preventive actions
are provided to appropriate maintenance technicians.
||Maintenance Inspection Activity
ARG/US requires each carrier to have a process for ensuring
required aircraft inspections are completed, and the results
properly documented. Also required is a system to evaluate
contract vendors, suppliers, and their products. Inspection
personnel are identified, trained (initial and recurrent),
and provided guidance regarding inspector responsibility
and authority. The inspection activity is normally a separate
entity within the maintenance department.
Training must be conducted commensurate with the size
and type of maintenance function being performed. Continuing
education and progressive experience are provided for
all maintenance personnel. Orientation, familiarization,
on-the-job, and appropriate recurrent training for all
full and part-time personnel is expected. The use of such
training aids as mockups, simulators and computer-based
training enhances maintenance training efforts, and is
desired. Training documentation is required; it must be
current, complete, well-maintained, and correctly identifies
any special authorizations such as inspection and airworthiness
release. Trainers are to be fully qualified in the subject
ARG/US requires carriers to control maintenance activities
and rack aircraft status. Qualified personnel must monitor
maintenance preplanning, ensure completion of maintenance
actions, and track deferred discrepancies. Deferred maintenance
actions are identified to supervisory personnel and corrected
in accordance with the criteria provided by the manufacturer
or CAA. Constant and effective communication between maintenance
and flight operations ensures an exchange of critical
||Aircraft Maintenance Program
Aircraft are properly certified and maintained in a manner
that ensures they are airworthy and safe. The program
includes the use of manufacturers and CAA information
as well as company policies and procedures. Airworthiness
directives are complied with in the prescribed time frame
and service bulletins are evaluated for applicable action.
Approved reliability programs are proactive, providing
management with visibility on the effectiveness of the
maintenance program; attention is given to initial component
and older aircraft inspection intervals and to deferred
maintenance actions. Special tools and equipment are calibrated.
Maintenance actions are well documented and provide a
complete record of maintenance accomplished and, for repetitive
actions, maintenance required. Such records as aircraft
logbooks and maintenance documentation are legibly prepared,
dated, clean, readily identifiable, and maintained in
an orderly fashion. Inspection compliance, airworthiness
release, and maintenance release records, etc. are complete
and signed by approved personnel.
Aircraft exteriors, including all visible surfaces and
components, are clean and well-maintained. Interiors are
also clean, orderly, and worn or frayed items are replaced
regularly. Required safety equipment and systems are available
and operable. Digital photos of aircraft interiors and
exteriors are a required part of the ARG/US annual survey
||Fueling and Servicing
Aircraft fuel is free from contamination, and procedures
and instructions pertaining to servicing, handling, and
storing fuel and oil meet established safety standards.
Procedures for monitoring and verifying vendor servicing
practices are included in this program.
Company policy manuals and manufacturers maintenance manuals
are current, available, clear, complete, and adhered to
by maintenance personnel. These manuals provide maintenance
personnel with standardized procedures for maintaining
company aircraft. Management policies, lines of authority,
and company maintenance procedures are documented in company
manuals and kept in a current status.
Carriers maintenance facilities are expected to be clean,
adequate for the level of repair authorized. Safety equipment
is available in hangars and shops, and it is serviceable.
Shipping, receiving, and stores areas are likewise clean
and orderly. Parts are correctly packaged, tagged, segregated,
and shelf life is properly monitored.
|The above information is
the sole copyright of the Aviation Research Group/U.S., and
the latest updates can be accessed here.