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Choosing the Right Private Jet Operator: Understanding Aviation Audit Programs and Safety standards

Updated: Jan 21

From preflight saftey check to bi-yearly scheduled maintence operators are held to high standards
Safety Check

Private Jet Audit Programs

Selecting the ideal aircraft and operator from the plethora of private jet options available can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are factors that level the playing field and aid in the quest for the best aircraft to suit your flight needs.

As a private jet operator, you have the option to request an aviation audit to demonstrate your adherence to industry standards. In the United States, two primary safety audit programs, Argus and Wyvern, play a significant role. But what exactly do these programs entail, how can you interpret their findings, and how reliable are they?

In this article, we will delve into both Argus and Wyvern auditing services and introduce another program that is rapidly gaining recognition in the U.S. and worldwide.

All three audit programs are comprehensive and are committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry.

It's important to note that while no program is flawless, this article aims to provide guidance on how to utilize them effectively, rather than criticize the programs themselves.

Let's start alphabetically, beginning with Argus.


Argus - Aviation Research Group United States (ARGUS)

Argus safety rating badge signifies a standard for safety protocol and best practices
Gold, Gold+, Platinum Rated

Argus classifies operators into two levels: Gold and Platinum. Argus examines each operator's maintenance records, assesses the frequency of aircraft inspections, ensures compliance with FAA standards, and monitors aspects such as flight hours, pilot training, and medical records for the company's pilots.

To maintain their Argus rating, operators must keep these records up-to-date with Argus to guarantee clearance for each flight. Before a flight, operators can run a TripCheq, a trademarked Argus report, to ensure that the crew, aircraft, and trip adhere to the standards.

This is crucial because not every operator is authorized by the FAA to fly to every destination worldwide. For instance, certain light jet operators may lack approval for flights to Mexico or specific Caribbean regions.

Gold signifies the lower level of operator rating, while Platinum represents the upper level.

Wyvern Wingman is a significant badge to earn through strict safety protocols and best practices
Your Wingman in the Skies


Wyvern is another audit program widely used by U.S. operators (and some Europeans) to obtain third-party safety ratings. Although the audit process and reports closely resemble those of Argus, there are differences.

The most significant difference is the cost of the program. Companies can become Wyvern-approved for a fraction of the cost of an Argus audit. This means that Wyvern maintains its records, allowing you to run a Pass Report, similar to Argus's TripCheq, but without the same level of constant review.

Wyvern registered is essentially an entry-level rating for operators, often chosen as they begin to establish their fleet and reputation. It's important to note that a Wyvern registration does not indicate subpar quality; it simply means that the operator is relatively new to the industry.

Operators can progress to become Pass Ready, signifying that they are likely to pass all record checks, and then to Wyvern Wingman, a status equivalent to Argus Platinum.

Both Argus and Wyvern work diligently to provide rigorous audits that assess the safety aspects of operators, including historical safety records.

The safety standards for international travel
International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations

International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO)

The third audit program we'd like to introduce is relatively new but is notably more stringent and should be viewed as a prestigious accolade by any operator that attains it.

IS-BAO stands for International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations and was introduced by IBAC, the International Business Aviation Council.

Recognizing the need for a new global standard that goes beyond paid audits, this group devised IS-BAO. While obtaining an IS-BAO certificate requires an investment, it is not a monthly fee.

Unlike Wyvern and Argus, which audit based on FAA standards, IS-BAO audits adhere to ICAO standards, the worldwide benchmarks for aviation. These standards involve collaboration with civil aviation authorities worldwide.

In conclusion, while an audit from one of these major groups should be a consumer requirement, it doesn't represent the entirety of aviation safety. Look for brokerages prioritizing safety and operators with multiple ratings. Ensure that a professional reviews an operator's safety status when arranging an aircraft for your flights.

As consumers become more educated and demand higher standards, more operators will recognize the importance of adhering to industry standards. Let's keep the skies safe!

For secure private jet flights 24/7, contact NuCo Jets at or +1(855)682-6538. Alternatively, receive a quick charter quote online for aircraft of any size, to and from any destination worldwide.

Nuco Jets is a global provider of on-demand private jet charter solutiions


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