Despite increasing worldwide use of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which has been adopted as an official quality-control tool by many national aviation authorities, two IOSA-audited carriers have faced official censure.

Pakistan International Airlines had much of its fleet placed on the European Commission blacklist - although this sanction has just been withdrawn and in the last month the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) suspended its approval for local carrier Nationwide's maintenance organisation, grounding its fleet. Nationwide insists the CAA's findings will be reversed upon further study, and it is resuming operations.

IATA's Mike O'Brien says these two anomalies do not discredit the IOSA, which examines the whole airline. The European blacklist is based on individual aircraft inspections carried out under its Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft scheme, and the SACAA's recent decision on Nationwide was based on a departmental judgement within the carrier which may yet be modified.

Source: Flight International