Safety Ratings for Private Jet Flights

Jun 5, 2024

Safety ratings are paramount in the private aviation industry. When selecting a private jet charter company, it’s important to review and understand safety ratings so you can make an educated decision. Charter operators must adhere to guidelines set forth by the civil aviation authorities: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE.   

There are three well-known safety standards in business aviation that have the highest recognition as institutions that audit safety. They can recognize private jet charters depending on the safety level these flights achieve: 

IS-BAO Stage 3

IS-BAO (the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) is a code of best practices designed by The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC)  to help the global business aviation community achieve high levels of safety and professionalism. There are three tiers, with IS-BAO Stage 3 accreditation being the final level in a long-term performance-based assessment for aircraft. Receiving an IS-BAO audit is voluntary every two years.  

During the audit process, a lengthy list of aviation operation topics is scrutinized, including: 

  • Safety Management Systems (SMS) 
  • Organization and Personnel 
  • Training and Proficiency 
  • Flight Operations 
  • Operations in International and other specialized Airspace 
  • Equipment Requirements 
  • Maintenance Requirements 
  • Company Operations Manual 
  • Emergency Response Plan 
  • Environmental Management 
  • Occupational Health & Safety 
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods 
  • Security 

Those awarded this certification are recognized for fully absorbing and carrying out the IS-BAO standards and for integrating safety management activities into their business.  

ARG/US Platinum

The Aviation Research Group United States (ARG/US) collects, analyzes, and disseminates aviation data for operators of every cabin class worldwide. The highest level of ARG/US safety ratings is Platinum, awarded to operators who meet the standards of Silver and Gold, and successfully pass an ARG/US on-site safety audit. For the audit to earn a Platinum rating, the operator must adhere to the following requirements: 

  • A well-developed safety management system (SMS)  
  • A clear and workable emergency response plan 
  • All pilots must receive full-motion simulator training 
  • Effective policies and procedures 
  • Documented records for all major aspects of maintenance and operations 
  • Adequate personnel training 
  • A safety history that meets necessary requirements 


WYVERN Wingman

Founded in 1991 by safety-focused professionals who created The Wingman Standard for vetting air charter operators, WYVERN is known as the world’s first business aviation audit company. It is internationally recognized and serves as a seal of approval that assures the public that the operator adheres to specific safety and risk-management standards. This certification goes to operators globally who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to safety and security and exhibit exacting standards in aviation safety. 

To earn WYVERN Wingman status, an operator must comply with the following stringent standards: 

  • Minimum piloting hours 
  • An initial audit, including an on-site, two-day safety advisor visit 
  • Follow-up audits every 24 months 
  • Regular updates about operational changes 

WYVERN also issues a PASS (Pilot @ Aircraft Safety Survey) report. It instantly assures the public that each flight meets the highest industry safety standard. There are two types of PASS Standards, Wingman Standard and Registered Standard, which depend on the operator’s program. 

The Wingman Standard PASS report analyzes more than 150 data points involving pilot and maintenance personnel training, crew currency, background checks, accident records, and that an operator is in good standing as a certified Wingman operator.  

Registered Standard PASS reports are available to both Wingman Operators and Registered Operators and check aircraft, pilot, and insurance information in the WYVERN system. However, they don’t cover as many data points as the Wingman Standard report since they only measure operators who have not yet been audited by WYVERN or meet The Wingman Standard. 


Fly Safely Anywhere, Anytime

XO undergoes a stringent, recurring safety audit process for all third-party operators who are part of our global network of more than 2,400 exceptional aircraft, including over 300 jets in the Vista Members’ fleet.  

This process enables XO to identify aircraft operators that share our priority commitment to safety. The operators that we choose for our global network meet or exceed the necessary regulatory requirements, and many have been awarded certifications by the above-mentioned organizations.