A message from David Anderson
November was a very busy month for the BARS Program with many projects underway. In particular we held the 24th meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee delivered again in the online format. We do miss the face-to-face normal delivery of the TAC, but the online model does give us greater global reach and TAC24 was the most attended TAC to date, with nearly 30 of the BMOs attending along with 90 Observers for the Open sessions, a great representation of stakeholders within the BARS Program. The content for this meeting was aligned with issues faced by the current crisis the global pandemic has presented and included:
- Fatigue Management Systems from Dr. Adam Fletcher;
- Best Practices in Aviation Mental Health from Dr. Tony Merritt;
- Personal Resilience Programs from Dr Nicole Gray - all three subjects very relevant to our contract aviation Aircraft Operators at present.
- Lance Martin of IAGSA gave us an update for the geo survey sector;
- The BARS Program Office briefed on the Small Operator Development Scheme and also the Future Audit Model covering how the BARS Program audit will be delivered in the coming years.
- A briefing on Helicopter Vibration Monitoring Systems and new developments in this area - a subject very important to our helicopter community.
Some of our long term supporters of the BARS Program were celebrated and recognized; with Freeport and Newcrest both reaching 10 years of support as a BMO. The hard work and continuous support from two of our Audit Companies in Litson & Associates and AvLaw with their 10 years of participation. The ongoing continuous support of Safety Wise with 10 years of multiple services to the BARS Program, and we had 5 BARS Auditors reaching their 10-year milestone - Keith Piggott, Sean Glynn, Charles Penney, Ron Bartsch and Paul Dorfman. A big thank you to everyone for the ongoing participation of the BARS Program and efforts towards global aviation safety.
A very important function of the TAC is to ratify the BAR Standards and their regular updates. The BARS for RPAS Working Group led by Frans Kruger of Anglo American has completed the update work on the document and we have now published Version 3 of the RPAS Standard which is available via the BARS Webpage and on BARSoft. Alongside this is the Contract Technical Schedules, audit checklist and Operational Risk Assessment tool. The exciting new part of the RPAS Standard is the addition of a new bowtie and appendix covering RPAS External Load operations. The BARS for RPAS Standard already has dedicated bowties for underground/confined spaces, BVLOS, and the offshore/maritime environment. The BARS Program has had the RPAS Standard for over 4 years since we released Version 1 and the document is gaining good support for the use of the bowtie model and the way it is easy to understand. Our head office in Washington is also doing very interesting work within the RPAS (Drone) space and autonomous flight area which was promoted last week with National Drone Safety Awareness week.
And finally, the very first formal BARS Audit was Swiftflight in South Africa conducted by Mike Litson and Charles Penney of Litson & Assoc. on 22-23 Nov 2010. Now almost on the 10th anniversary of this first event, AvMax Chad saw the 800th BARS Audit event on 26th Oct 2020 by a team from ARGUS. All great achievements and milestones for our hard working and very supportive stakeholders.