The Flight Safety Foundation’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) initiative to improve aviation safety in the mining and resources sector has been recognised by Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).
The BARS Program was designed to evaluate aircraft operators competing for contracts to carry mining company personnel or undertake specialist aerial work. The aircraft supporting these activities range from small single engine helicopters to commercial airliners, in a variety of challenging environments. According to the Flight Safety Foundation:
With aviation being one of the resource sector’s most critical risks, and one that is frequently contracted out to external suppliers, the Foundation identified a need for a universal safety standard for the sector.
BARS was developed in conjunction with the resources sector and is a consensus-based industry standard consisting of:
- A risk-based standard, now at Version 5
- An auditing program, that has now completed over 250 audits
- A range of aviation safety training programs
- A global safety data analysis and sharing program.
So far 28 aviation customers have joined the BARS Program, with the membership spreading outside the mining sector.
Through the BARSoft database, member customers are able to view the reports of aircraft operators audited to the BAR Standard. This results in a reduction of audit costs and a reduction in the number of audits on each operator.
AusIMM noted the BARS Program raised the level of minimum acceptable standards for aircraft operations worldwide.
BARS Program managing director Greg Marshall received AusIMM’s Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award on behalf of the Flight Safety Foundation. Greg Marshall commented:
We’re really proud to accept this award from the mining industry and are encouraged in knowing that the program is internationally respected and is helping to improve aviation safety.
Under our program aviation suppliers work to comply with one standard – not with the multiple and varying safety standards and protocols that existed previously.
Mining companies can be assured their aviation suppliers meet the exacting standards required of the BARS Program.
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