Flight Safety Foundation recognised for audit program

Flight Safety Foundation’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) program has been named as a finalist in the 2017 Australian Export Awards in the business services category.

The safety auditing and training program is one of four entries vying to take home the trophy when the awards are handed out in early December.

The BARS program is run out of the organisation’s Melbourne base and supports operators in the resources sector, as well as humanitarian, government and insurance organisations in their oversight of contacted aviation activities.

The program comprised a risk-based international aviation standard; an auditing program tailored to the standard; a range of aviation safety training programs; and a global safety data analysis program.

Flight Safety Foundation, headquartered in the US state of Virginia, said the BARS program was active in 31 countries, with about 480 audits conducted for some 140 operators over the past five years.

“Our team is proud to be leading the way with initiatives that deliver increased safety for the contracted aviation sector and delighted to receive the award,” Flight Safety Foundation managing director David Anderson said in a statement.

“When it comes to improving aviation safety, we have had the continual support of some forward-thinking resource, humanitarian aid and mining member organisations that have helped us raise the bar for global air safety.”

Anderson said an upgrade to the BARS program would be launched “over the coming weeks”, following widespread consolation with industry, aircraft owners and operators, pilots, auditors and regulators.

“The upgrade will mean reduced fees, greater flexibility and audits with better evaluation of implemented safety procedures to advance global aviation safety for contracted operators,” Anderson said in a statement.

BARS was named as a finalist for the national export awards after winning the Governor of Victoria Export Award in the business services category.

The national winners in the 12 separate categories will be announced at the 55th National Awards Ceremony to be held in Canberra on December 5. The business services category features Flight Safety Foundation, Cognito Group, ISW and EarthCheck.

Other categories cover industry fields such as agribusiness, creative industries, digital technologies, environmental solutions and manufacturing, among others.

It is not the first time the BARS program has been recognised. In 2014, the AusIMM – The Minerals Institute recognised presented Flight Safety Foundation with a mining safety award, noting it had raised the level of minimum standards for charter aircraft operations worldwide.