You can download the PDF version of the IAATO Bylaws below:
Bylaws – April 2021
Article I: Foundation, Name, Registration, Headquarters
Article II: Objectives
Article III: Membership
- Operators: companies who operate travel programs to the Antarctic and/or sub-Antarctic islands* and who have fulfilled the requirements in Article III, Sections B and C, and Article X, as applicable. Until fulfillment of the conditions in Article III, Sections B and C, and Article X, a company's status as an IAATO Operator is provisional.
- Associates: tour agents/companies who do not operate Antarctic and/or sub-Antarctic tour programs themselves, but book into IAATO Operators' programs, or companies with an interest in supporting Antarctic tourism and IAATO Objectives.
- Actively support IAATO Objectives and abide by IAATO Bylaws;
- Organize travel programs to the Antarctic and/or sub-Antarctic island at least once every three Antarctic seasons;
- Attend the Annual Meeting at least once within every three consecutive years, unless exempted by the Executive Committee, on the advice of the Membership Committee;
- Complete the required legal process with the appropriate Antarctic Treaty Party or relevant government to obtain authorization or approval to visit Antarctica and/or sub-Antarctic islands and forward electronic copies of these documents, including permission or acknowledgement letters, to the IAATO Secretariat immediately upon receipt. The IAATO Secretariat must receive, at a minimum, the Advance Notification and an Environmental Impact Assessment or equivalent. If the organizer is registered in a country that is not a Party to the Antarctic Treaty or has not implemented the Environmental Protocol, the organizer must submit equivalent documentation to the IAATO Secretariat no later than 30 days prior to the commencement of the organizer's first program of the season;
- Have been formally accepted by two-thirds of the Operators in good standing;
- Conform to all Operation Procedures as enumerated in Article X, below; and
- Fulfill any other requirements as may be introduced.
- Applications to become an Operator will be considered only at the Annual Meeting:
- These applications must be received by the IAATO Secretariat at least 90 days prior to the meeting;
- A representative of the applicant must be in attendance at the meeting to provide details on planned activities and to respond to questions from the Membership;
- Prior to the meeting, the applicant must successfully complete the most recent relevant IAATO Online Assessment for Expedition Leaders; and
- The application will be voted upon at the meeting, with a positive vote resulting in the company becoming a Provisional Operator or Operator.
- Provisional Operators are required to carry an IAATO-approved Observer on one trip during the first Antarctic season following acceptance of their application, unless exempted by the Executive Committee, on the advice of the Membership Committee.
- Provisional Operators are expected to fulfill the conditions in Article III, Sections B and C, and Article X after having successfully operated a program in Antarctica and/or the sub-Antarctic islands. This includes filing the appropriate paperwork, including a complete, unabridged Observer's report (from an Observer unaffiliated to the member being observed) if required, with the IAATO Secretariat.
- At the first IAATO Annual Meeting after having successfully completed the requirements in points 1-3 above, the Provisional Operator is expected to stand for a vote by Operators in good standing, in order to change the status of the Provisional Operator to Operator, unless exempted by the Executive Committee, on the advice of the Membership Committee.
Article IV: Organizational Structure
- Is appointed by and reports to the Executive Committee, which acts on behalf of the Membership.
- Is a paid full-time position with benefits and insurance. Terms of office responsibilities, time requirements and remuneration will be determined by the Executive Committee according to proposed activities and budget.
- Will consult with the Executive Committee in whole or in part, in person or via conference calls, to report on issues, activities and progress, and to determine forthcoming priorities.
- Has roles and responsibilities that include but are not limited to those outlined in the "Secretariat Organizational Structure" in the IAATO Member Handbook and the IAATO Organizational Chart.
- In addition to the Executive Director, IAATO is staffed by a number of other professional and administrative personnel. These staff members, together with the Executive Director, constitute the IAATO Secretariat.
- Terms of office, responsibilities, time requirements, remuneration and benefits of these various staff positions are determined by the Executive Committee on advice from the Executive Director.
- Individual roles and responsibilities include but are not limited to those outlined in the "Secretariat Organizational Structure" in the IAATO Member Handbook and the IAATO Organizational Chart.
Article V: Voting and Elections
- Budget and finance issues, including adoption of final profit and loss statement and balance sheets, approval of projected budgets, and approval of expenses greater than the amount indicated in IAATO Bylaws Article VIII, Section E;
- Adoption of working papers;
- Amendments to the IAATO Bylaws;
- Changes in or adoption of Terms of Reference;
- Adoption of proposed new IAATO guidelines;
- Addition of new committees or working groups;
- Actions proposed for committees;
- Recommendations from committees; and
- Venues for the Annual Meeting.
- Membership, including new members and change of status;
- Issues of incident dispute and resolution; and
- Issues of compliance and reprimand, including probation and expulsion.
Article VI: Standing Committees and Working Groups
Article VII: Meetings
Article VIII: Finances
Article IX: Amendments to IAATO Bylaws
Article X: Operational Procedures
- Organizers of vessels that carry 13-200 passengers and are making landings.
- Organizers of vessels that carry 201-500 passengers and are making landings.
- Organizers of vessels making no landings (cruise only). This includes all vessels carrying more than 500 passengers.
- Organizers of land operations.
- Organizers of air operations with over-flights only.
- Organizers of air/cruise operations.
- Organizers of sailing or motor vessels that carry 12 or fewer passengers.
- Organizers are expected to maintain their vessels, aircraft, and equipment in suitable condition for safe and effective operation under Antarctic conditions.
- Organizers are expected to have appropriate contingency plans for all aspects of their operations.
- Organizers are required to hire a sufficient number of expedition staff, at least 80% of whom have previous relevant experience and 50% of whom have previous Antarctic experience, as agreed by IAATO definition. Organizers also are required to ensure that all field staff in their employ take and pass the relevant IAATO online assessment module.
- Organizers are to complete a Post-Visit Site Report upon the completion of each program and submit it to the IAATO Secretariat and the Organizer's National Authority, if applicable.
- Organizers are to submit an End of Season Report to the IAATO Secretariat on completion of their Antarctic season.
- Organizers are to adhere to other obligations as enacted by the Antarctic Treaty System and/or governments of sub-Antarctic islands.
- Organizers of vessels that carry more than 500 passengers are not permitted to make landings.
- Organizers of vessels that make landings are not to have more than 100 visitors ashore at any one site at the same time. Visitors are defined as passengers and crew not assisting with the landing; this excludes expedition guides, leaders, and crew assisting with the landing.
- Organizers of vessels carrying 201-500 passengers are to abide by stringent restrictions on time and place of landing activities.
- Organizers of vessels of any size must coordinate site visits via the IAATO Ship Scheduler and the agreed ship-to-ship communication procedures so that not more than one vessel is at any one site at the same time.
- Organizers who land visitors are to maintain a minimum expedition staff-to-visitor ratio of 1:20 while ashore.
- Organizers operating vessels that will travel south of 60°S latitude are to have a Captain or appointed Ice Pilot with Antarctic experience suitable for the intended operation. Depending on the intended operation, it may be necessary to have additional relevant Antarctic experience among the bridge officers.
- Organizers are to update the IAATO Vessel Database on a regular basis.
- Organizers are to incorporate into their own operating procedures the IAATO guidelines and operational procedures while operating in the Antarctic and, where appropriate, in the sub-Antarctic islands.
- Organizers are expected to hire a sufficient number of experienced aircraft ground handling staff.
- Organizers are to liaise in advance with National Antarctic Programs if flying in the vicinity of or landing near their stations to so that organizers have made a clear line of communication available.
- Organizers are to incorporate into their own operating procedures the IAATO guidelines and operational procedures relevant to flight activity while operating in the Antarctic.
- Organizers are to provide sufficient supervision and support appropriate to the client's level of experience and training.
- Organizers are expected to investigate whether each expedition has sufficient medical support appropriate for the intended expedition.
- Organizers are to liaise in advance with National Antarctic Programs if operating in the vicinity of their stations so that organizers have made a clear line of communication available.
- Organizers are to incorporate into their own operating procedures the IAATO guidelines and operational procedures relevant to flight and land activities while operating in the Antarctic.