WYVERN and ARGUS: A Deep Dive Into Private Aviation Safety Ratings

Small Airplane or Aeroplane Parked at Airport

When choosing a charter jet flight, you have access to information about each operator’s safety compliance. You can evaluate an operator’s ratings with ease due to the designation systems in place across the industry. Regardless of when or where you’re flying, safety should always be your first priority, and you can ensure your safety by understanding charter ratings.

In the charter aviation industry, safety ratings appear in a few different ways. The Aviation Research Group United States (ARGUS), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), and the WYVERN rating systems help to set the highest safety standards.

Though each serves the same purpose, they hold companies to different standards and offer unique designations. It’s vital for jet flyers to be able to interpret these designations. A thorough understanding of these safety rating systems will help you make informed decisions when booking charter flights.

What Are ARGUS and WYVERN Charter Safety Ratings?

ARGUS International Rating System

ARGUS is an independent safety rating system, producing safety grades and maintaining records for thousands of aircraft and pilots. ARGUS International was founded in 1995 and is the most detailed source of third-party ratings for charter operations. If you’ve viewed safety documentation for chartered flights before, you may be familiar with ARGUS safety rating levels ranging from ARGUS Registered (the lowest) to ARGUS Platinum (the highest).

The WYVERN Standard

WYVERN is another independent company supplying ratings and certifications. The company creates and updates safety criteria and conducts regular audits. It also provides safety intelligence data, leader training, and software solutions. Through WYVERN, charter operators and brokers can achieve certification ranging from WYVERN Registered to WYVERN Wingman, the highest level.

To achieve either ARGUS Platinum or WYVERN Wingman status, operators must meet the most stringent requirements, including:

  • Maintaining a perfect safety record for at least 2 years.
  • Implementing a Safety Management System (SMS) and Quality Assurance Program.
  • Conducting regular aircraft inspections and maintenance.
  • Requiring pilots to undergo simulator-based training.
  • Limiting maximum crew duty times and ensuring adequate rest periods between flights.

When booking a charter flight, look for operators certified as ARGUS Platinum and WYVERN Wingman. These designations indicate the operator has met the highest standards for safety, security, and service. Though charter flying is generally very safe, choosing an operator with top ratings provides an extra layer of assurance so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.

What Is ARGUS?

ARGUS International is an independent company that provides safety ratings and maintains records for thousands of aircraft and pilots. Founded in 1995, ARGUS is the most detailed source for third-party ratings of charter operators. If you’ve reviewed safety documentation for chartered flights before, you may be familiar with ARGUS’s safety rating levels.

ARGUS assigns ratings on a scale of one to five stars based on a charter operator’s compliance with ARGUS’s standards. Operators are audited regularly to ensure they continue meeting requirements. A one-star rating indicates an operator meets basic safety standards, while five stars show an operator demonstrates best practices and an exceptional safety culture.

Audits and Standards

To achieve an ARGUS rating, an operator must pass a comprehensive audit reviewing aircraft, maintenance, training, and operational procedures. ARGUS standards are widely considered the most stringent in the industry. They cover:

  • Pilot experience and training
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Flight and duty time
  • Company safety procedures
  • Accident prevention practices

Operators must also report monthly flight activity and safety data to ARGUS. This information is analyzed to monitor performance and identify any emerging risks.

Benefits of ARGUS Ratings

For jet charter customers, ARGUS ratings offer reassurance that an operator complies with high safety standards. Higher ratings, especially four or five stars, indicate an operator’s strong commitment to safety and transparency. ARGUS also provides a useful resource for comparing operators based on objective safety criteria.

Overall, ARGUS ratings are considered the gold standard for evaluating charter operators. By understanding the ARGUS system and utilizing their ratings, you can fly with confidence knowing you’ve selected an operator focused on safety, training, and compliance.

ARGUS Safety Rating Levels

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ARGUS ratings range from ARGUS Registered (the lowest) to ARGUS Platinum (the highest). The specific rating an operator receives depends on how well it meets ARGUS’ standards for pilots, maintenance, and safety practices. As a passenger, you should aim to fly with operators that have achieved a Gold or Platinum rating.


To achieve an ARGUS Gold rating, an operator must demonstrate a strong commitment to safety and professionalism. Gold-rated operators have clean safety records and inspection histories. They employ highly experienced pilots and regularly inspect and maintain their aircraft. An ARGUS Gold rating indicates an operator meets or exceeds industry best practices.

ARGUS Platinum

ARGUS Platinum is the highest safety rating an operator can achieve. Platinum-rated operators have flawless safety records and aircraft maintenance histories. They employ the most highly trained and experienced pilots and crew. Platinum operators also have in-depth safety management programs and risk mitigation strategies in place. Flying with an ARGUS Platinum-rated operator helps ensure your flight will be as safe as possible.

While ARGUS ratings focus specifically on an operator’s safety standards and records, the WYVERN certification evaluates an operator’s business practices and client services as well. Some operators may hold certifications from both ARGUS and WYVERN to demonstrate their commitment to safety, professionalism, and customer satisfaction.

When choosing a charter operator, look for the highest ratings and certifications to ensure a safe, high-quality experience. Understanding safety designations like ARGUS and WYVERN ratings allows you to make informed decisions and fly with confidence.

What Is the WYVERN Rating System?

WYVERN is an independent company that supplies safety ratings and certifications to charter jet operators and brokers. WYVERN establishes and regularly updates a stringent set of safety standards and criteria, then conducts regular audits to determine if companies meet these standards. If a charter operator achieves and maintains WYVERN certification, it signifies the operator complies with the highest safety standards in private aviation.

Safety Standards

To achieve WYVERN certification, an operator must implement safety management systems, risk assessment procedures, and a safety policy manual. WYVERN evaluates factors like pilot experience requirements, aircraft maintenance programs, company policies and procedures, and safety culture. WYVERN certified operators must also report key performance indicators like hours flown, incidents, and accidents. Regular audits then determine if the operator continues meeting criteria.

Wingman Designation

For operators that meet additional best practices, WYVERN awards the Wingman designation. This indicates the operator has an exemplary safety culture and programs. Wingman operators often exceed minimum standards in areas like leadership engagement, risk management, and continuous improvement. The Wingman designation provides an extra measure of assurance for discerning jet charter clients.

Benefits of WYVERN Certification

As a jet charter client, choosing a WYVERN certified and Wingman designated operator provides maximum safety assurance. You can fly confidently knowing the operator meets or exceeds the most stringent standards in the private aviation industry.

WYVERN certified operators also benefit through reduced insurance premiums, attracting high-quality clients, and strengthening their safety culture. For the private jet charter industry overall, WYVERN certification promotes the highest safety standards and ethical business practices.

In summary, WYVERN certification signifies an operator’s superior safety standards and dedication to continuous improvement. Their Wingman designation indicates the highest level of safety and service. When booking a private jet charter, look for the WYVERN certified Wingman seal of approval.

Achieving WYVERN Certification

To receive WYVERN certification, operators must undergo a rigorous audit process. During the initial certification process, WYVERN will review the operator’s policies, procedures, training programs, and safety management systems to ensure they meet or exceed industry best practices. Operators are also required to demonstrate a strong safety culture and commitment to continuous improvement.

Once certified, operators must maintain their certification through regular audits and oversight. WYVERN conducts on-site audits at least once every 24 months to confirm ongoing compliance with standards. They also monitor key performance indicators like flight hours, incidents, and regulatory actions to identify any areas of concern. If deficiencies are found, corrective actions are required. Failure to correct issues can result in a downgrade or loss of certification.

For passengers, WYVERN certification indicates an operator has been thoroughly vetted and is dedicated to the highest safety standards. Certified operators have robust safety management systems, extensive crew training, strict maintenance programs, and a proven track record of safe flight operations.

They are also subject to ongoing oversight from an independent third-party. When booking a charter flight, WYVERN certification can give you confidence in the operator and assurance your safety is a top priority.

To maintain certification, WYVERN requires:

  • Documented policies and procedures: Operators must have comprehensive and up-to-date policies that govern all aspects of their operations. These include safety, maintenance, crew training, risk management, and more.
  • Safety management system: A formal system must be in place to identify hazards, assess and mitigate risks, ensure regulatory compliance, and promote a positive safety culture.
  • Crew qualifications and training: Pilots and maintenance personnel must meet stringent experience and certification requirements. They must also complete regular training.
  • Aircraft maintenance: Aircraft must be maintained according to manufacturers’ recommendations and relevant regulations. Maintenance records are reviewed during audits.
  • Incident reporting and monitoring: Operators must have a process for internally reporting and investigating incidents or accidents. They must also report certain events to WYVERN and regulators.
  • Continuous improvement: Operators are expected to continually improve their systems and address any deficiencies identified through internal or external audits and reviews. Compliance with recommended corrective actions is mandatory.

WYVERN’s certification demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to safety and excellence. By choosing a WYVERN certified operator, you can fly with confidence knowing your wellbeing is their top priority. Their proven standards and ongoing oversight help ensure each flight is as safe and secure as possible.

Woman in yellow clothes sits inside of private airplane

Wyvern FAQ’s

If you’re considering chartering a private jet, you’ll want to evaluate the operator’s safety ratings and standards before booking a flight. Wyvern is an independent company that provides safety ratings and certification for charter operators and brokers.

What Do Wyvern Ratings Mean?

Wyvern’s ratings help determine an operator’s safety compliance and standards. Ratings range from Level 1, the lowest, to Level 5, the highest. Higher levels indicate the operator has met more stringent safety standards. For maximum safety, choose an operator with a Level 3 rating or higher.

How Are Wyvern Ratings Determined?

Wyvern evaluates operators based on a comprehensive set of safety standards. They conduct regular on-site audits and evaluations covering areas like maintenance, crew qualifications, and flight operations. Operators must provide documentation proving compliance with Wyvern’s standards to achieve and maintain a rating. Ratings are not permanent and can be lowered or revoked if an operator falls out of compliance.

Should I Only Choose Highly-Rated Operators?

While higher ratings generally indicate a greater emphasis on safety, a lower-rated operator is not necessarily unsafe. However, they may have more limited resources and experience. For most travelers, a Level 3 or 4 rating provides an acceptable level of safety balanced with availability and cost. Level 5 operators meet the industry’s highest standards but may charge premium rates.

How Can I Check an Operator’s Wyvern Rating?

Wyvern ratings are available on their website and through most charter brokerages. You can search for a specific operator to view their current rating and rating history. Ratings are updated periodically based on Wyvern’s ongoing audits and monitoring. Reviewing an operator’s rating history can provide insight into their level of commitment to safety over time.

Using resources like Wyvern helps ensure your charter flight meets the highest safety standards. Their ratings take the guesswork out of evaluating operators and provide peace of mind for your travel. While cost and availability also factor into your choice, never compromise on safety.


When booking a private charter, you now have the knowledge needed to evaluate safety ratings and choose the best operator. By understanding the ARGUS, IBAC, and WYVERN ratings systems, you can interpret designations to select flights that meet your standards. Though each system differs, all aim to uphold the highest safety protocols.

With this information in hand, you can fly confidently knowing you’ve taken the proper steps to ensure your next private charter is safe. By prioritizing safety and using ratings to guide your decisions, your travels will be secure and stress-free.

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