Brief History of the International Flight Inspection Symposium (IFIS)

The International Flight Inspection Symposium exists for the purpose of exchanging technical information, dealing with aviation system operation and its impact on flight. The discussions and presentations concerning flight inspection procedures, techniques, training, equipment, and other relevant topics, have brought a better understanding and focus on this important area of calibrating and maintaining the navigational signals and procedures upon which the aviation system operations are based.

In the early 1970’s, the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Air Force had a vision to organize an International Flight Inspection gathering to meet the needs of the global flight inspection community.

The first two meetings, held in November 1974, and November 1977, were hosted by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flights Standards Group at Rhein Main Air Base, Frankfurt, Germany. These meetings were government to government, with private industry invited on a non-participatory basis and were not as official as we know them today.

The technical theme of the first meeting was "The Merits of Pilot Update", which at that time, was not very well accepted by the European flight inspection community. These meetings peaked the interest of government, civil aviation organizations, and private industry to continue in the following years with what is known today as the International Flight Inspection Symposium (IFIS).

In 1984, an Ottawa, Canada meeting was organized by Transport Canada, with private industry being invited as an equal partner in presenting papers and ideas for international flight calibration to exhibit their programs and products, a very small exhibition was held. A decision was made on the importance of regular technical information exchange meetings, a two year practical interval was established, and this Ottawa meeting was considered the 3rd symposium.

Criteria was established to keep commercial presentations limited to the equipment exhibition area, and papers submitted and presented. Since the first IFIS, delegate attendance and participation has increased significantly.