Flight Safety Foundation Expands Aviation Risk Audit Program to Offshore Helicopter Operators

 - February 25, 2014, 6:30 PM

The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is highlighting its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) audit program to rotorcraft operators here at Heli-Expo 2014. It was developed to establish a common safety audit standard that could be applied to “on-shore resource sector aviation support activities.”

In response to feedback during last year’s Heli-Expo, the foundation is looking to include offshore operators. According to FSF managing director Greg Marshall, the BARS audit and training program, initially created for use in the natural resource sector, can enhance additional categories of rotorcraft operations, especially emergency medical service, industrial, charter and sightseeing.

The standard was developed from a risk-based model framed against the actual threats posed. Key components of BARS include courses for onshore and offshore personnel, as well as one about helicopter external load operations for ground personnel. Overall, BARS provides a consistent audit model that allows member companies to share in the audits of participating operators. Findings from BARS audits, especially for aviation operations in remote areas, is already benefitting a much wider community of fixed- and rotary-wing operators, FSF said. Operators interested in the program can contact Marshall at marshall@flightsafety.org.

To date, 25 organizations–including Bristow Helicopters, PHI and EcoCopter–are BARS-registered operators. Marshall said three more operators will soon be added to these ranks.