Low-level Airborne Geophysical survey operations are inherently more hazardous than most other aspects of general aviation. As such, the ability to proactively assess risks and identify opportunities to reduce risk is fundamental in ensuring both the health and safety of all individuals involved, and the protection of the environment we work in.
In support of this, significant focus is placed on proactive planning, diligently executing the planned activity, whilst actively managing any changes throughout.
As one of its core values, Xcalibur Multiphysics is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all its employees, stakeholders, contractors, sub-contractors, clients, communities, and visitors. This emphasis on safety is ensured through a combination of attracting and retaining well-trained and talented staff, the adoption of appropriate and compliant systems and procedures, and inculcating a culture that carefully considers the consequence of all actions taken.
Xcalibur is a founding member of the International Airborne Geophysics Safety Association (IAGSA), an association that works to improve safety standards throughout the Airborne Geophysics industry. Xcalibur is furthermore active in its IAGSA support by having representation on both the IAGSA Board of Directors and its Technical Committee.
In addition to operating in accordance with IAGSA requirements, Xcalibur Multiphysics in Australia also has Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) accreditation. This program is designed to provide organizations that engage contracted aircraft operators with a standard to assist in the risk-based management of aviation activities, particularly within remote and challenging environments.
Xcalibur believes that the prevention of any work-related illness or injury to its employees and/or contractors is critical to both its core values, and the Company’s success as a major provider of airborne geophysical services. This is proactively managed through a robust Health Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) that is supported by policies, procedures, and standards that meet or exceed all legal requirements and best industry practices. Xcalibur employs full-time dedicated safety professionals to develop and oversee the implementation of the Company’s Health, Safety, and Environmental Management program.
Xcalibur Multiphysics operates a fleet of highly specialized and fit-for-purpose aircraft. All survey flight operations are undertaken by specialist pilots that have undergone specific and extensive training in low-level survey operations, covering both the type of aircraft and the technology being deployed.
All flight crew are subject to both Xcalibur’s internal policies and all regulatory requirements as applicable in respect of having formalized Drug and Alcohol Management (DAMP) and Fatigue Management programs (FMP).
Xcalibur is committed to maintaining “Industry Best Practices” with respect to the maintenance of all its aircraft. The company ensures that the necessary tools and appropriate training are provided to staff and contractors involved in ensuring the continued airworthiness of its fleet as applicable to the governing Aviation Authority in which the aircraft is registered. As Xcalibur Multiphysics operates aircraft that are modified for Geophysical Operations, careful and continual attention is also afforded to the mission-specific equipment and airframe modifications.
Survey Planning and Search & Rescue
Xcalibur Multiphysics prepares a comprehensive Project Safety Plan (PSP) for every project after conducting formalized processes of hazard identification, risk assessment, and determination of required mitigations. The PSP is reviewed by all survey crew members and only approved by Xcalibur management after completion of a reconnaissance flight that confirms all hazards within the specific survey area/block have been appropriately assessed and mitigated.
Continuous satellite tracking of the aircraft position is undertaken at all times while airborne Xcalibur uses this satellite tracking for the notification of the appropriate company and Search and Rescue (SAR) authorities if the flight is overdue, missing, or potentially involved in an incident. In hostile terrain Satellite tracking update frequency is one minute or less. In all other areas, it is 2 minutes or less. Hostile terrain is an environment in which:
- A safe forced landing cannot be accomplished because the surface is inadequate (inadequate surface would include moderate and steep slopes and trees); or
- The occupants cannot be adequately protected from the elements; or
- Search and rescue capability is not provided consistent with anticipated exposure.
All Xcalibur aircraft are additionally equipped with satellite telephone systems that are used to allow voice communication status updates to aid in communication and as a backup in the event of tracking system failure.
The search and rescue procedures must be reviewed and clearly understood by all personnel prior to survey flying in each survey block. Emergency contact information is provided in the Project Safety Plan and is made available to the local aviation ground crews responsible for S&R.
A pre-survey safety meeting, involving all crew, will review the operational procedures prior to any survey flying from each base of operations. Thereafter, Weekly Safety Meetings will be held to assess changes to the health and safety environment.
Xcalibur Multiphysics recognizes that our business has an important role to play in protecting and enhancing the environment for future generations. To this end we are committed to taking the following action:
- To achieve sound environmental practices across our entire operation;
- To comply fully with all relevant legislation and environmental laws;
- To continually advance our technology and services to reduce the environmental impact of all of our activities;
- To reduce, reuse and recycle the resources consumed by our business wherever practical;
- To provide all employees with the resources required to meet our environmental objectives;
- We encourage and support our businesses, all employees, and locations globally to identify and take specific actions that support the health of the environment, climate, and the communities where we operate; and
- To openly communicate our policies and practices.