A Cobham Aviation Services-operated BAe146-100 jet lifts off from the Cosmos Nickel Mine’s remote gravel airstrip.
A Cobham Aviation Services-operated BAe146-100 jet lifts off from the Cosmos Nickel Mine’s remote gravel airstrip.

Sept 14, 2012– Perth,Australia (Techreleased) –Cobham has won a two-year Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) contract to fly Xstrata Nickel Australasia (XNA) employees by jet for the first time to the remote gravel airstrip at the Cosmos Nickel Mine in Western Australia.

The contract utilizes Cobham’ s recently introduced BAe146-100 jets fitted with “gravel
kits” – air frame protection kits that allow operations from unsealed or gravel airstrips. The
agreement is Cobham’s first FIFO contract with XNA incorporating gravel kit-equipped
BAe146s that are accredited under the Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) of the Flight
Safety Foundation.

Peter Nottage, Vice President of Cobham Aviation Services, said: “This is our first
agreement with Xstrata and it further illustrates the growing demand for our gravel kit-equipped BAe146s by successful companies operating in Australia’s booming mining and energy sectors. The new service means faster and more comfortable flights for XNA workers and subcontractors in larger aircraft, creating significant savings in the longerterm for the mining company. Until now, smaller and slower turboprop aircraft were the only aircraft available to XNA to fly workers to its unsealed airstrips in Western Australia.”Cobham began flying five services a week with the 71-seat BAe146-100 aircraft in midMarch from Perth to the Cosmos Nickel Mine 650km northeast of Perth.

This new contract follows a FIFO contract extension with Minara Resources to its Murrin
Murrin Nickel Mine, 900km northeast of Perth, a FIFO contract renewal for Santos in South
Australia and services using gravel kit-equipped jets to Kambalda, Western Australia, for a
mining consortium.
“We are glad to be associated with Cobham Aviation following a thorough review,” said Al
Coutts, Executive General Manager of XNA. “The solution presented is unique in many
respects; it increased flexibility in a cost effective manner, allowing us to focus capital
investment in our mining assets as opposed to supporting infrastructure.”