Hunter-based airline wins internationally-recognised Gold

Tamworth, Wednesday:
Airspeed Aviation has been awarded Gold status by the US-based non-profit Flight Safety Foundation this week, the only Charter operator of its type in the world to do so.

Spurred by the Sundance Resources accident in Africa in 2010, the FSF’s Internationally-recognised BARS safety assurance program audits and registers Air Operators across the world for the quality of their management systems, pilot training, risk management and Safety systems.

The standard is supported and used by major corporations including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, and Newcrest mining. Unlike ISO certification, it specifically addresses Aviation safety and proven areas of risk.

The Flight Safety BARS program recognises a much higher level of safety performance than the bare-minimum CASA operator licensing standard.

Airspeed Aviation is one of only 3 non-airline operators in Australia to meet the FSF’s Gold registration requirements.

Director of the BARS program, David Anderson, said today from Melbourne:

“While the vast majority of BARS-registered operators are scheduled airlines or large charter operators, Airspeed is one of only a very few small GA operators who have successfully met the BARS registration standard. That Airspeed have achieved Gold registration signifies over 3 years of meeting or exceeding the Flight Safety Foundation’s recommended flight safety and risk management standards. They are the only operator in NSW to do so and the smallest operator to do so in the world.”

“It is unusual for a small business to be able to meet such a high standard of compliance, which is usually associated with much larger airlines. Airspeed’s ongoing success in this program is a credit to them. Safety in aviation is not about the size of the organisation, it is about recognising and understanding the risks and addressing these risks. Despite their size, Airspeed has demonstrated that even the smallest of operators can meet or exceed all the items in the BAR Standard”.

Airspeed Aviation will be launching new bases in Tamworth and Gunnedah this month to address a need for Pilot Training in those centers. Airspeed is also launching an Airline service this year branded as “Northwest Airlines”, proposing to service Sydney from towns in the Hunter Valley and the North-west of NSW.

Managing Director of the Airspeed Group Ben Wyndham stated that adopting the BARS standard early had changed the trajectory for his business.

“Using the BARS standard as a benchmark has helped us do everything at a higher level. It has lifted us close to major-airline safety management practices and allowed us to service top-tier ASX 200 clients in the mining, gas, farming and construction sectors. All our clients benefit from this program – not just the mining sector. It’s a good outcome for everyone.”