The onshore resource sector has marked an accident-free start to 2023 for aircraft operations, according to the Flight Safety Foundation

Data collected by the foundation in the first three months of 2023, as part of its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) program, continues a downward trend of aviation-linked accidents in the onshore resource sector since the program began in 2010. 

David Anderson, managing director of the BARS program, said the findings show “what happens when organizations start working together; that is the mining companies, the resource sector and the Flight Safety Foundation working in a collaborative and unified way.” 

Though there were more than 12 fatal and non-fatal accidents every year from 2010 to 2016, since 2017 there have been fewer than seven each year and 2022 only saw two fatal and two non-fatal accidents linked to aviation in this sector. 

The BARS program was designed to provide an overview of aircraft operators in the resource sector and to collect data that can be used to further safety improvements, it has conducted over 1,200 audits of operators since it began. 

Anderson described the success that the program finds when working with different operators, saying: “We can see the aircraft operator improve over the years as they become more aligned with the BAR Standard and their operations become very focused on safety.” 

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The accident-free start to the year, shown in the data part of the Onshore Resource Sector World Wide Accident Summary for the first quarter of 2023 report, will be discussed at the foundation’s Technical Advisory Committee in Brisbane in June where BARS member organisations can contribute to the direction of the program. 

The foundation is also continuing its work with the International Airborne Geophysics Safety Association to improve safety in aerial surveying operations in the sector, the type of the main operations to record accidents in 2022. 

An updated version of the BAR standard for the utility and energy sector is also expected next month with an accident summary for that sector to follow shortly after.