Cobham wins four-year FIFO contract

File image of a Cobham Aviation BAe 146. (Cobham Aviation)
File image of a Cobham Aviation BAe 146. (Cobham Aviation)

Cobham Aviation Services will fly Arvo RJ85 jets to West Australian mining sites as part of a new four-year fly-in, fly-out contract with Gold Fields Australia.

The contract involves flying the 82-seat jet aircraft equipped with what Cobham says is gravel kit capability to Gold Fields Australia’s mines at Granny Smith and Darlot, both situated about 720km north-east of Perth.

Cobham said the aircraft jets would be capable of operating to gravel runways, making the company the only aviation services provider in Australia using jet aircraft to gravel runways.

Cobham general manager of regional services Ryan Both said the jet aircraft allowed mining companies to move more people faster using fewer services.

Gold Fields Australia executive vice president Richard Weston said the use of jet aircraft to its mining sites – four return services a week to Granny Smith and two to Darlot – would “increase efficiencies as it enables us to consolidate our FIFO schedule and still travel direct to our sites with gravel runways”.

Comments

  1. Raymond says

    How cost- / fuel-efficient are these old BAe 146’s? Mustn’t be too great; 4 old jet engines for 82 seats must be quite a bit more expensive to operate compared to newer aircraft with a higher capacity and only 2 new-technology engines.

  2. Ben S says

    They use the RJ85s because of their high wing which reduces the chances of FOD given their clearance from the ground is significantly higher than low wing aircraft – also they have amazing short field performance

  3. Nigel Daw says

    These aircraft have gravel kits for the runways that are unsealed. BAE146’s are suitable for this work as E-190 needs a sealed runway.