LOWER levels of absenteeism, reduced time costs and greater safety are three of the major benefits of deploying private aircraft charter flights to mine sites.
BHP Billiton is one of the country’s major miners who uses regular charter flights, citing them as an “essential” element to a smooth FIFO operation.
“We service mine sites such as Iron Ore at Area C and Yani; Nickel West at Mt Keith and Leinster; Copper at Olympic Dam and Cannington; BMNA at Moranbah; and Manganese at Groote Eylandt,” a BHP spokesperson says.
“All tenders for charter flights are competitively bid and allow us to get the best technical solution using operators who meet our aviation standards in a commercially-bid process,” the spokesperson says.
“This process works well and allows each part of the business to tailor their needs into the tender specifications.
Managing director, Rick Pegus of private aircraft charter operation Skypac Aviation says there is a much higher price in time using commercial flights, because workers need to drive to a major airport, park, check-in, wait, board, fly, disembark and often fly or drive hours to a site.
“Mining personnel travelling from the Hunter Valley to Moranbah need to leave home 2 to 3 hours before the flight departs, and will lose a further 1 to 3 hours changing aircraft in Brisbane,” he says.
“If they used a charter aircraft they could be on the ground in Emerald before they even board the aircraft in Newcastle and in Moranbah inside 3 hours.
“So, if the personnel are valuable commodities you will get much better value for money by travelling direct. Most charter companies can offer a range of aircraft – 4 seats, 6 seats, 10 seats, 19 seats and will find exactly the right solution.”
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