The Flight Safety Foundation's Australian office has started the roll-out of the first global aviation standard for the mining and resources sector.

The Basic Aviation Risk (BAR) Standard Programme was spearheaded by the Melbourne-based division of FSF, formerly the Aviation Safety Foundation Australasia, which was absorbed into the foundation last year. It was developed in conjunction with the world's leading resource companies, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Lihir Gold, Minerals and Metals Group and Xstrata.

The resources sector increasingly uses aircraft for employee movement, as well as geological surveys, helicopter external load missions and offshore operations, with types in use ranging from single-engined aircraft and helicopters up to Boeing 737s.

Before the development of the BAR, multiple aviation standards existed, with no clear industry benchmarks for resource companies when assessing the safety of contracted aviation activity, says the FSF.

In addition to challenging and often remote areas of operations, the sector faces challenges involving a variety of aircraft types, adverse weather and terrain, a large number of aircraft operators and differing levels of regulatory oversight, it adds.

"A major weakness of the old 'company-specific' standards was they tended to be prescriptive and reactive to incidents. The BAR Standard Programme, on the other hand, is based on leading aviation risk management principals - analysing possible points of failure and preparing for them," says William Voss, FSF president and chief executive.

Source: Flight International