Geneva, Switzerland– The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched a new program at its annual Global Media Days, to raise global standards in cargo handling operations.
The Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) program aims to reduce audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities.
This new IATA initiative has two components:
Standardized Global Audit Program: IATA has introduced the Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit Certification (SFOC Audit Certification) to 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 (ICHM). It is estimated 360,000 man-days per year are wasted annually on redundant cargo handling audits. The SFOC Audit Certification program aims to reduce redundant efforts across the industry by 50 per cent through removing the need to validate generic cargo operation procedures.
Committed Audit Reduction: The Audit Reduction Commitment (ARC) is an industry pledge to reduce audits. Airlines participating in the SFOC program will undertake a gap analysis to determine which audit standards will not need to be assessed for SFOC certified facilities. The revised audit scope is then defined through the ARC. Individual airlines will provide clear visibility on the potential audit reduction for SFOC certified facilities, ensuring there is a solid mechanism to eliminate redundant audits.
“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 program will bring this expertise to general cargo handling operations,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.
SFOC Program Launch Partners
Singapore will be the initial focal point for this important new initiative. SATS Ltd and Singapore Airlines are the first organisations to join the Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) program. SATS is the first Cargo Handling Facility to receive the new SFOC Audit Certification and Singapore Airlines is the first airline to join the program by signing the ARC.
“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 — zooming 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,” said Chin Yau Seng, Senior Vice President Cargo, Singapore Airlines.
“SATS is delighted to be the world’s first cargo ground handler worldwide to achieve the IATA SFOC Certification. We are delighted to have Singapore Airlines as our partner and the first carrier to commit to ARC. The certification affirms SATS’ consistent standards and the quality of our service. We hope other airlines will follow this example to realise the SFOC program’s full audit efficiencies for the entire industry” said Yacoob Piperdi, CEO, SATS Gateway Services.