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 Issue 81, 1 December 2020

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.

Stay safe

David Anderson
Managing Director
BARS Program

Best Practice in Aviation Mental Health Seminar

Following from the TAC, we delivered two seminars around "Best Practice in Aviation Mental Health" with Dr. Tony Merritt. These seminars were very well attended and went through all the different tools organizations can, and should, have available to support their staff when required. Excellent material for any operator in the BARS Program to review and consider how they support their staff. A big thank you to Dr Merritt for the delivery of this great work.

With Dr Nicole Gray and The Kiel Centre, the Flight Safety Foundation and the BARS Program are putting together a Personal Resilience Program that can be used by the Operators to help their staff. This Program has tailored scenarios for the contract aviation sector and covers both the rotary wing and fixed wing communities. We will be able to deliver a 'Train the trainer' course for the larger organizations and alternatively provide spaces for the smaller organizations where they can send their personnel on a course to be coordinated for 2021.

If you missed out and would like to review this seminar please find a link here to view a recorded session of the Seminar.

Online Audit Review Meeting (ARM20)

The 20th Audit Review Meeting (ARM) was held online again on the 18th November and achieved great results with over 18 attendees across 4 different countries; Australia, USA, Canada and South Africa. 

The ARM benefits the BARS Program stakeholders by showcasing data and details along with a concise summary of the BARS Program from the last quarter. It presents an opportunity for face to face Q&A and an open forum for discussion around subjects concerning the process and outputs of up and coming changes like the Future Audit Model or clarity around past processes and planned steps for new ones.

It was also a great meeting to congratulate 5 of the BARS Program long serving Auditors reaching their 10-year milestone - Keith Piggott, Sean Glynn, Charles Penney, Ron Bartsch and Paul Dorfman.

BARS Audit Accreditation Training

AAC32 was the first time the BARS Auditor Accreditation was presented as online instructor-led training. We had attendees from 3 countries; USA, Argentina and Australia. All attendees passed and are now accredited as BARS Auditors.
Although the course was unable to be held face to face, all candidates were highly engaged with the content and were active throughout the course with great discussion. 

 “Excellent course and thorough content. It provided all of the knowledge required and offered everything that is needed for an Auditor to succeed in the BARS Program.”(participant)

This course will continue online with the next one on 8-9 December, and more scheduled for 2021. For more details and the full 2021 calendar of Auditor Training please visit the BARS Webpage or if you are interested in knowing more about the training please email us at

BARS Managing Contracted Aviation Risk (MCAR) Training

November held the 4th of the MCAR training weeks presented online, this one was set to the Asia Pacific time zone. Although scheduled to suit the Asia Pacific region participants also came from USA, South Africa and Mongolia which resulted in 27 participants overall. Some excellent feedback was received particularly around additional topics, these will assist in further development of the training program. 
Some additional feedback include:
For an online course with so many participants it went really well. The instructor was very knowledgeable, and presented the subjects in a way that everyone could grasp.”
This was one of the most interesting training courses I have ever participated in. the content was really fascinating and engaging, Geoff is a great presenter, loved the case studies and videos/photos - I really enjoyed it. The content is huge but I feel that it was well structured and the documentation is very useful for guiding risk assessments in real life.”

Our full training calendar for 2021 is online now with some of the in person training dates still to be confirmed due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by COVID19. If you are interested in participating please feel free to send us an email to and let us know the dates you are interested in.

Record GOLD achievements for November

Our Aircraft Operators are continuing to keep up their BARS Registration with great outcomes. We congratulate Airspeed Aviation, Pacific Helicopters, Commercial Helicopters, Hevilift Limited, Starlite Aviation Operations , Jayrow Helicopters, SEARCA S.A and Bristow Caribbean for achieving GOLD this month.

These are great results and we encourage these Aircraft Operators to keep up the good work. Thank you to all who have been involved in our Audit Program to achieve these results and we look forward to working with all the Aircraft Operators.

Some of the BARS Member Organizations

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