An expert team from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) inspected the facilities of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) on the ground as well as on its flights for the purpose of safety auditing. The team included experts of operation safety, aircraft piloting, maintenance and evaluation of work environment. “They inspected all safety measures taken by Saudia for its daily operations,” said an airline official. The experts inspected ground facilities such as air and ground operations, aircraft maintenance hangars, Prince Sultan Aviation Academy and aviation services as well as other airline facilities that required safety auditing.
Mohammed Miteb, vice president of Saudia for safety and quality, said the team from the French company Quali-Audit was assigned by IATA to complete the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) to renew operational safety certificates. Airlines have to comply with a series of international safety standards and conditions to get IOSA certification and this is one of the conditions for an airline to maintain its IATA membership. In some countries IOSA certification is required for an airline to get license for regular operation. The IATA team inspected eight operational aspects of Saudia including air safety management systems, operations management, work environment of the safety and quality department and training and maintenance divisions.
“The team also traveled in some Saudia flights as part of field auditing of all procedures followed during the journey,” Miteb said. Saudia is one of the first airlines to conduct such an auditing before it becomes mandatory.
“This reflects the airline’s confidence in its safety procedures,” Miteb said, adding that the internal safety measures followed by the airline are tougher than international standards,” he added.