in General Aviation

Flight Safety Foundation announces BARS for offshore helicopter operations standard

Posted 2 June 2015 · Add Comment

The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has announced the expansion of its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) suite of documents aimed at managing aviation risk for contracted aircraft operations.

The Basic Aviation Risk Standard for Offshore Helicopter Operations (BARS OHO) continues the theme of presenting a standard in a risk-based format using applicable threats and controls.   

For contracted aviation operations supporting the oil and gas sector a comprehensive risk-based standard dedicated to offshore helicopters is an industry first. The aim of providing a standard dedicated to offshore helicopter operations, as opposed to guidelines, builds upon the success of the BARS Program over the past five years in support of the resource sector and provides greater focus on the threats and challenges unique to the offshore helicopter environment. 

Having BARS OHO focused solely on offshore helicopter operations enables the unique threats associated with this challenging environment to be identified and mitigated. Loss of control, controlled flight into water, weather, wrong deck landings and helideck obstacles are examples of some of the threats identified along with associated control and mitigation measures such as survivability and Search and Rescue. Drawing on all available industry guidance and practices and developed with global industry expertise, this resulting international standard represents leading practice and addresses recent advances within the offshore sector.    

"The BARS Program and the underpinning standard is a more effective and efficient way for organizations to manage their aviation risk," said Greg Marshall, managing director of the BARS program and the Foundation's vice president for global programs. "The BARS Program provides opportunity for productivity and efficiency gains without compromising safety assurance, while still giving greater insight into contracted aviation risk. It is also beneficial for offshore helicopter operators to be routinely contracted to a common standard, with a single audit on behalf of multiple customers." 

A risk-based standard that meets or exceeds all current industry guidance and practices in particular allows those oil and gas companies that don't have an internal aviation department to confidently focus on their operational aviation risks by contracting to an industry standard, kept current and effective by all stakeholders through a structured review and approval process. "The Flight Safety Foundation is committed to continued enhancement of BARS OHO as the offshore helicopter industry and its safety practices continue to develop," said Marshall.

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