16 Dec 2011

Air safety lifted by top dressing industry

5:44 am on 16 December 2011

The top dressing industry has lifted its safety performance. There have been no pilot deaths for three years and no serious injuries for four years.

The Agricultural Aviation Association says that's the longest period without a fatality in its 50 years of existence.

The association says the industry has had a high accident rate.

But executive officer John Sinclair says that's changing with a best-practice programme called Aircare.

Operators are now encouraged to take a proactive approach to safety and to identify hazards and risks and put controls on those before things go wrong.

The association has also been working with farmers to make sure their landing strips are in good condition.