Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has passed the third and highest stage of an international safety-audit process.

The safety designation, known as IS-BAO Stage III reflects that Embry-Riddle consistently goes above and beyond safety requirements set forth by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said Bob Joyce, director of Aviation Safety for the university’s Daytona Beach Campus. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), headquartered in Montreal, Canada, determines whether a flight operation has met IS-BAO (International Standard Business Aircraft Operations) standards through a comprehensive audit process, he explained.

“The aviation safety culture at Embry-Riddle is driven by everybody working together, from leadership and faculty to flight instructors, mechanics and students,” Joyce said. To achieve the highest level of IS-BAO registration, he added, Embry-Riddle had to demonstrate that it has a safety management system in place, effectively manages risk, and maintains a strong safety culture. Achieving Stage III registration involved a careful review of all documentation as well as auditor interviews with a wide range of personnel and students.

Rising senior Tyler Rispoli, an Aeronautical Science major from Altoona, Pennsylvania, is working toward a career as a commercial pilot. He cited open lines of communication across Embry-Riddle’s flight operation as key to maintaining the highest possible safety standards. Embry-Riddle is one of only a few flight training programs of its type to voluntarily take part in the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program, or ASAP, which allows anyone who has a safety concern at any time to report it without fear of penalty or ridicule.

“The culture of safety at Embry-Riddle makes it clear that if you ever come upon a safety issue or just something you think could be improved, you can step up and take matters into your own hands,” Rispoli said. “Everyone is responsible for safety and everyone’s concerns are heard. As a student, that’s a lesson I’m taking to heart and plan to use later on in life.”

Dr. Ken Brynes, chair of the Flight Department on the university’s Daytona Beach Campus said, “At any given time, we have close to 1,300 students in training and more than 200 instructors as well as 30 Airframe & Powerplant certificated technicians,” Byrnes said, “and our flight operation’s safety record far exceeds the industry average.”   

Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Flight Department earned Stage I IS-BAO registration in May 2015. Stage II was achieved in November 2017. Joyce said the university was notified of its Stage III registration in June 2019.