Ninety-one audits were conducted in 19 countries last year under the auspices of Flight Safety Foundation’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) Program, bringing to 252 the number of audits conducted or planned in 29 countries since BARS was launched in 2010, according to data provided by the BARS program office in Melbourne, Australia.
The 2013 audits resulted in 44 P1 (highest priority) findings, 1,381 P2 findings and 140 P3 findings, and the average closure rate was 98 percent for P1, 92 percent for P2 and 45 percent for the P3 findings, which are recommendations for improvement only. The BARS program office published 87 initial audit reports and 85 final audit reports. Seventeen operators achieved “gold” status and 16 achieved the new “silver” status, which was introduced in 2013.
The silver level recognizes aircraft operators that have maintained continuous registration for two years and have closed out all of their findings by the originally planned due date. “The introduction of this status level recognizes aircraft operators that have placed considerable effort in acquitting their findings in a complete and timely manner,” BARS Managing Director Greg Marshall said last year in announcing the silver level. Aircraft operators that proceed to their third-year audit and close their findings in the same manner progress to gold status.
In reviewing the program’s other 2013 achievements, Marshall said BARS currently has 23 member organizations and that three more are expected to join in the first quarter of 2014. Two auditor accreditation courses were conducted in 2013, an updated BARS Procedures Manual was released, as was an updated BARS Auditor Guide. Other releases included the BARS Aerial Work audit category and protocol and Volumes 1 and 2 of the BARS Implementation Guidelines.
Two new courses were developed and made available last year — the Aviation Coordinator for Offshore Personnel course and the Helicopter External Load Operations for Ground Personnel course.
In addition to the BARS member organizations expected to join this year, Marshall said the introduction of new audit protocols and additional tools and guidance materials — all designed to assist organizations with the management of aviation risk for their employees — are on tap for 2014.
For example, the operational review tool is newly available as an application through Apple’s App Store. The tool, which can be used with iPads and iPhones, includes built-in checklists that can be used by auditors or other personnel when conducting field reviews to verify procedures, the existence of equipment and the adequacy of facilities.
In May, Version 5 of the BAR Standard is expected to be released, as are the two volumes of the Version 5 BARS Implementation Guidelines. A new suite of documents, tailored to specific user groups, will be produced to replace the current BARS Procedures Manual format.
The protocols expected to be released include the BARS Maintenance and Repair Organization audit category and protocol, and a new aerodrome audit category and protocol.
BARS was established by Flight Safety Foundation, in conjunction with the global natural resource sector, to improve safety in operations involving remote and hazardous environments. The program aims to raise aviation safety standards by assisting resource companies with the management of aviation risk for their personnel. The International Council on Mining and Minerals supports the use of BARS to improve safety.