International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial
International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial

IFA History

IFA was established on 24th March 1975.

In the beginning

Extract from original Foreword written by Jim Rainbow OBE, who sponsored the publication of the first IFA History in 2005.

“In the beginning, IFA filled a need that was very real and was well understood by all the players in the business of maintaining Air Transport aircraft. Over the years many of the wrongs, whether they were designed operational or human factors have been put right not least through the help and efforts of the Officers, Committee members and Corporate Members of IFA.

We are all aware that the world is constantly changing even more rapidly nowadays not least when it comes to the design operation and maintenance of the aircraft of today. The part played by IFA in the scheme of things is just as valid now as it was when in 1975 those forward-looking people created the Federation.”

The Early Years

1964 – 1974

The formation of IFATE by dedicated Licensed Aircraft Engineers and individuals of the airline industry which subsequently established the basis for IFA.

The Birth of IFA

1975 – 1979

The people who attended the formation meeting of IFA in 1975 could all see the benefit of worldwide communication (at a time when communication technology was very basic) and of the gathering of information and like minds and could see the aim of improving air safety through improvement in engineering standards and of sharing ‘good practices’. At that time these individuals were very modern in they’re thinking and can be commended for their beliefs in the future of air travel.

The Work Continues

1980 – 1999

The work of spreading the messages of air safety and continuing airworthiness was developed and built upon enabling IFA to grow and flourish.

Into the new Millennium

2000 – 2014

The beginning of the new Millennium saw new levels of terrorism and the use of civilian aircraft as weapons. The impact upon the airline industry was severe with many companies not recovering from the loss of passengers and increased security costs. The ‘blame culture’ became a reality with individuals, companies and organisations being targeted following major incidents and accidents. Issues of Safety Management throughout the whole industry become paramount. World issues impacting on the airline industry mean the new Millennium proves a challenging time for all.

Industry Challenges

2015 - onwards

Transformational changes are taking place. New entries into aviation with drones, air taxis and other unmanned vehicles. Digitisation and artificial intelligence create amazing opportunities as well as huge challenges – cyber security being a key issue. In this challenging environment IFA is needed more than ever to support the engineering and maintenance sectors with maintaining existing aircraft and coping with the new arrivals.

Our History In Images

See our progression in time as beautiful images.

Patrons & Presidents


Officers & Personnel

Honorary Members & Fellows


Structure of IFA

IFA consists of corporate, executive and professional board members


History of IFA

IFA was established on 24th March 1975 and continues to lead the way in air safety


Whittle Safety Award

Honouring the aerospace achievements in the field of air safety


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