IATA launches cargo handling audit

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new programme to raise global standards in cargo handling operations. 


The Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) programme aims to reduce audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities. 


This new IATA initiative has two components:

  • Standardised 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). 
  • 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.


Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo, IATA, commented: “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 programme will bring this expertise to general cargo handling operations,” 


Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president Cargo, Singapore Airlines, said: “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. This zooms 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,” 


Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president Cargo, Singapore Airlines, said: “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. This zooms 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,” 

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