Island Airport Safety Committee Conference for St. Maarten

Airport quality and safety professionals are expected to take part in the seventh Island Airport Safety Committee (IASC) Conference on November 5-9, 2012, at PJIA.


PJIAE Manager of Quality Anastacio Baker said that IASC was formed after a course on Safety Management Systems for Aerodrome Regulators and Inspectors held in Aruba and organized by the Netherlands in 2006. Representatives in attendance for the training were from the then island territories of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Suriname, and the Netherlands.

Baker said that, "because of the shared information and unity of the group during training they decided to form a committee and meet every year. The first meeting was held in 2007 in Aruba and St. Maarten, then for the following years in Curacao, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius respectively. Once again St. Maarten is hosting the conference.

Baker said that, "the objective of the conference each year is to share safety information and audit the host airport; the findings are then presented to management with recommendations for improvements from the committee." Among the key aspects or areas of the airport to be audited are Airside Operations, Rescue and Fire Fighting, and Air Traffic Control.

The audit is done in accordance with Annex 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s manual (ICAO) and the Airport Aerodrome Manual. "This type of audit prepares the host airport for other external audits from regulating bodies such as ICAO and FAA," said Baker. The committee members are from the airports of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Maarten. Suriname became a member in 2011.

According to Baker, a former IASC chairman, there will be a number of safety presentations by the safety professionals as well as safety information sharing at the conference.