Flight Safety Foundation helping miners assess drone risks

Flight Safety Foundation’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) Program, working in collaboration with some of the world’s largest mining and resource companies, has developed the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Audit and Registration Program to, it says, provide the industry with a more efficient means of monitoring, assessing, and analysing risks associated with RPAS.

With airspace more accessible than ever and RPAS technology outpacing many legal and safety frameworks, there is an urgent need for greater oversight of RPAS operations to ensure the safety of those living and working around them, Flight Safety Foundation said.

The RPAS Audit and Registration Program will help businesses manage RPAS risks more efficiently and effectively through a variety of measures, including detailed reporting of events and information sharing.

Flight Safety Foundation, meanwhile, is an independent, international and impartial non-profit that exists to champion the cause of aviation safety, it says. The foundation established the BARS Program in 2010 to review aviation operators providing aviation services to the resources and other sectors.

“An RPAS Audit using registered BARS Audit Companies and accredited RPAS Auditors provides evaluation of operations and technical management systems of an RPAS operator,” it said. “It is a comprehensive audit with the objective of clearly articulating and verifying what procedures, processes and systems the RPAS operator has in place to mitigate risk.”

David Anderson, BARS Program Director, said RPAS are critical to business operations for a range of sectors and used within a multitude of operations enabling data collection, enhancing security, and improving productivity.

“However, with new technology comes new risks, and RPAS-related accidents and incidents can result in expensive damage to property and infrastructure, as well as injuries and even fatalities,” he said.

As part of the program, a global data analysis program will record knowledge and intelligence on the hazards and risks associated with the use of RPAS vehicles. This information will be used to ensure the appropriate controls within the audit standard are in place, updated and effective.

Dr Hassan Shahidi, President and CEO of the Foundation, said: “Enabling organisations to more effectively mitigate risk is critical to continually improving the safety and reliability of their RPAS operations. In addition, the adoption of a global standard should result in a broad safety improvement across the sector.”

Anderson added: “The BARS Program is proud to be a part of this ongoing investment in improving safety within the contracted aviation industry.”