Newcrest credits BARS program for enhanced aircraft safety

Newcrest Mining has improved its aviation risk management thanks to the basic aviation risk standard (BARS) program by Flight Safety Foundation.

The company has been part of the BARS member organisation since 2011, which has saved costs and enhanced safety for the company.

“Due to the high turnover of personnel in the resource sector, the most difficult part of transitioning to the BARS program was ensuring all staff were trained in the new standard,” Newcrest senior aviation coordinator Mark Wheatley said.

“Thankfully, BARS developed the Helicopter External Load Operations for Ground Personnel training course to provide basic training for any personnel engaged in activities involving helicopter under-slung loads.”

Newcrest had limited formal aviation risk management in place prior to joining BARS, and has utilised the program at a number of its national and international mining locations.

“We have found BARS easy to implement across all of our locations. Enabling critical control management of major aviation risks and providing our personnel with safety assurance,” Wheatley said.

Flight Safety Foundation’s BARS program has now developed remote monitoring and safety audits to allow contracted flights to continue to spread their wings during COVID-19.

BARS program managing director David Anderson said the safety audits would provide faster assessments of aircraft operators, which would be temporarily funded by the Flight Safety Foundation.

“In a global crisis situation like COVID-19, we operate to ensure standards are met for businesses and governments contracting aircraft and reduce the anxiety of aircraft operators,” he said.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to the aviation industry and safety of contracted aircrafts, we have established a temporary funding model where we will fund a significant portion of any remote monitoring fees, and will not retain any funding received for these audits.

“Our standard comes from the industry, and we have become a conduit of collaborative information to promote safety among companies on the other side of the world, and we are here to continue to provide our support the industry, auditors and aircraft operators during these times of need.”

The BARS program is one of three globally recognised aviation standards and was created by the Flight Safety Foundation alongside major resource and mining companies.