Aviation Body Praised for Close Watch Over Mining Flights

The aviation industry’s global effort to improve safety on chartered mining and resources flights has been recognised by the resources sector at the weekend with a national safety award. 

AusIMM – The Minerals Institute granted its Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award to the Flight Safety Foundation for its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) Program designed to evaluate contracted aircraft operations used extensively for carrying mining company personnel.   

The Institute noted the BARS Program raised the level of minimum acceptable standards for aircraft operations worldwide.

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.

Flight Safety Foundation BARS Program managing director Greg Marshall accepted the award and said that the 25 mining, resources and other companies which had so far joined the BARS Program were benefiting from being part of one comprehensive aviation safety standard. 

“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," Mr Marshall said. 

“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.”

The BARS Program was developed by the Foundation in conjunction with the resources sector and is a consensus-based industry standard consisting of four components:

  • A risk-based international aviation standard
  • An auditing program, tailored to the standard
  • A range of aviation safety training programs
  • A global safety data analysis program.

“The BAR Standard has gained a great deal of respect internationally and has contributed to a huge improvement in aviation safety for the resources sector,” Mr Marshall said.

The Flight Safety Foundation is an international industry body based in Virginia, USA that provides independent and expert safety advice, guidance and resources to the aviation sector.  For more information on the BARS Program please visit www.flightsafety.org/bars or contact the Australian regional office on +61 1300 557 162.