SFOC (Smart Facility Operational Capacity) is a new program that aims to cut back audit complexity and duplication for cargo handling facilities.
This new IATA initiative has two components:
Standardized global Audit Program
IATA has introduced the SFOC Audit Certification (Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit Certification) to provide airlines with the reassurance. That the Certified facilities are adhering to IATA’s Resolutions and Recommended Practices in cargo handling and with IATA’s Cargo Handling Manual (ICHM).
It’s estimated 360,000 man-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%. Thus, by removing the requirement to validate generic cargo operation procedures.
Committed Audit Reduction
The Audit Reduction Commitment (ARC) is an industry pledge to cut back audits. Thus, Airlines participating in the SFOC program will undertake a gap analysis to see which audit standards will not get 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’s a solid mechanism to eliminate redundant audits.” Auditing is essential to make sure the global standards that underpin the safe and efficient operations in the aviation industry. IATA’s strong capabilities in auditing have been established in the successful IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and CEIV programs. Finally, the SFOC program will bring this experience to general cargo handling operations,” said Mr. Glyn Hughes, IATA’s Global Head of cargo.
Launch Partners for SFOC Program
Singapore will be the initial center of attention for this important new initiative. SATS Ltd and Singapore Airlines are the first organizations to join the smart Facility Operational capacity (SFOC) program. SATS is the 1st cargo Handling Facility to receive the new SFOC Audit Certification. Also, Singapore Airlines is the first airline to join the program by signing the ARC.
Mr. Chin Yau Seng, Senior VP Cargo, Singapore Airlines said “The SFOC certification, which we’ve worked closely with IATA to refine, permits 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”. And he also said “the combination of each the SFOC audits and our own audits serve to produce a comprehensive image of our service partners’ capabilities and operational quality while improving audit efficiency for us and our service partners,”
Mr. Yacoob Piperdi, CEO, SATS Gateway Services said “SATS is delighted to be the world’s 1st cargo ground handler worldwide to attain the IATA SFOC Certification. We are delighted to have Singapore Airlines as our partner and the first carrier to commit to ARC. The certification affirms SATS consistent standards and the quality of our service. Above all, we hope other airlines will follow this example to understand the SFOC program’s full audit efficiencies for the whole industry”.