Staff and leadership of Flight Safety Foundation offices in Melbourne, Australia, and Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and farewell to John Guselli, who is retiring after 10 years as chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation Ltd. Board of Governors, which oversees operations of the Foundation’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) Program Office in Melbourne.
“John has been outstanding support for the work of the BARS Program and the team in the office here in Australia,” said David Anderson, managing director of the BARS Program Office. “It has been a privilege to work alongside John on the board and learn from his wisdom and experience over the years.”
Jon Beatty, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, said, “It has been a real pleasure working with John. He knows the industry and he always has its best interests at heart. BARS and its member organizations owe a deep debt of gratitude to John for all of his work and guidance.”
Guselli has had a long and successful career as a safety professional, specializing in the development of transport system safety management and the delivery of specialist transport safety investigation and training. He was one of the main drivers in the initial development and successful launch of BARS, and has been instrumental in the continued growth and success of BARS.
“Being part of the BARS Program has been all about the people,” Guselli said. “The BPO [BARS Program Office] team has been as good as you can get; small, cohesive and driven. External to the BPO were the industry champions that harboured a passionate desire to see BARS succeed. Primary drivers like Cameron Ross of BHP Billiton and Geoff Want, formerly of Rio Tinto, were always available to offer suggestions, support and alternative strategies. They never once let you forget that it was their people that we were doing this for,” he said.
“The BARS Program has evolved under the careful guidance of the Foundation. This situation was routinely underpinned by the efforts of former U.S.-based Board member Bill McCabe, an aviator, a mentor and a safety practitioner of the first order,” he said.
The BARS program was launched in its current form in 2010, but even before that, Guselli was working on behalf of the Foundation and the industry. In 2008, Guselli was involved with bringing Robert Gonzalez, then president of the International Civil Aviation Organization, to the region to address Australian and South Pacific aviation leaders in a Foundation-facilitated briefing session. The following year, the Foundation initiated and managed the Australian Helicopter Advisory Group.
The BARS program was launched in 2010 with initial resource company audits in South Africa and Melbourne. Since 2011, the BAR Standard has been regularly revised through the ongoing contributions of the Technical Advisory Committee and it is now at its sixth version. The Standard has been translated into five languages to permit universal interpretation by the users on the flight line, wherever they are, and not just within the head offices of resource companies.
The evolution continues today with the delivery of successful standards related to aerial mustering, remotely piloted aerial systems and helicopter offshore operations.
In 2014, the BPO received the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award, and, in 2017, the Victorian Government’s Exports Award for Industry.
“In all respects, the product has progressed to achieve and maintain the Foundation’s stated objective, to be independent, impartial and international,” Guselli said. “It has all been a truly valuable and satisfying experience to be a part of.”
“We would like to thank John for his significant and loyal contribution to the BARS Program and wish him all the best with his new endeavours,” said Anderson.
Julian Fraser, a long-time member of the Board will succeed Guselli as chairman of the FSF Ltd. Board.