New IATA initiative aims to improve cargo handling operations

Programme aims to reduce audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new program 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 made up of the Standardized Global Audit Program and Committed Audit Reduction.

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 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% through removing the need to validate generic cargo operation procedures.

The Audit Reduction Commitment (ARC) is an industry pledge to reduce audits. Airlines participating in the SFOC programme 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.

lyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of Cargo, said: “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 programs. The SFOC program will bring this expertise to general cargo handling operations.”

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