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A new umbrella organisation for the world of aviation services was launched in Geneva last night.

The new non-profit organisation, the International Aviation Services Organization (IASO), was unveiled at a special event with representatives from airlines, regulators and governments in attendance.

“It could have been launched at IATA or Farnborough, but EBACE was the right place at the right time,” says Ali Alnaqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and a member of the IASO board. “The association covers all sectors and for us, it is important that business aviation is involved at the very beginning.”

According to the association’s vice president operations Roy Barnett, a former FAA manager and general manager of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office in Port Vanuatu, IASO’s mission is to provide a unified voice for aviation services companies at airports around the world that will champion key issues affecting the air freight, aviation services and logistics sector.

“Our goal is to improve safety and facilitate the highest standards in aviation services, working closely with established industry organizations to see how they can benefit in becoming an IASO member,” says Munir Khalifa, IASO president and founder. “IASO provides a direct representative link with other established associations, including IATA, ICAO, AAA and MEBAA.”

According to the directors, IASO members will have access to an online database system – Aviation Ground Services Assessment (AGSA) – for auditing and measuring key risk factors, as well as discounted insurance and expeditious payment for services rendered. “A sophisticated arbitration-resolution mechanism will also ensure ISAO members have access to quality service,” Khalifa says.

Also speaking at the launch was Samir Sajet from the UN’s World Food Programme, who is also a board member of the fledgling group.

IASO members will be collaborating to support humanitarian operations to eradicate world hunger through aligning with the WFP’s ‘Helping Hands’ initiative. “Providing WFP with our members’ expertise means we are not only doing our part for the good of the industry but also contributing to help others help themselves as we try to win the battle to defeat world hunger,” Sajet says.