Operation Spray Safe is a AAAA initiative which aims for continuing improvement and professionalism in the application of agricultural chemicals by aircraft.
Operation Spraysafe was initiated in early 1985 when the AAAA convened a meeting with aircraft operators, chemical companies, the Departments of Primary Industries, Agriculture, Environment and conservation groups. At this meeting it was identified that the agricultural industry needed an initiative to establish increased professionalism and a framework for continuing improvement in the application of agricultural chemicals by aircraft.
The Operation Spraysafe campaign commenced with the following priorities:
- Education and training of industry personnel,
- An accreditation program for aircraft operators,
- To take control of our own industry in the eyes of the regulatory authorities and the general public and;
- To educate all our clients with regard to aerial application.
To ensure a solid scientific basis to the education of pilots, operators and clients, AAAA published a “Pilots and Operators Manual”. This 270-page manual provides the agricultural pilot with the required guidance necessary for them to avoid off-target contamination and a detailed knowledge of the chemicals in use and their effect on the environment.
Accreditation Levels Under Spraysafe
Accreditation of Operators
Operators are required to meet stringent guidelines in order to achieve Spraysafe accreditation, including a full independent inspection of the operator’s facilities. Initial accreditation requires the completion of an independent evaluation of the facilities and systems of the company against the AAAA Spraysafe checklist. Operator Spraysafe accreditation requires all staff to be Spraysafe accredited.
Renewed accreditation requires the completion, every three years, of an independent inspection of the operator’s facilities.
These assessments are supported by a surveillance audit program. To date, more than 80 operators have been accredited with Spraysafe.
Accreditation of Pilots
Aerial Application pilots are required to have a comprehensive knowledge of industry-related issues and practices. Pilots are examined on their knowledge of the 270 page “Pilots and Operators Manual” through a two hour exam. This exam is independently and externally supervised, returned direct to AAAA by the supervisor and marked by AAAA staff. The pass rate required is 70%, and upon successful completion of the exam a certificate is issued to the pilot. To date, over 1000 pilots have successfully completed the Spraysafe exam.
The pilots’ Spraysafe accreditation is current for three years, with renewal dependent on either successfully resitting a Spraysafe exam, or completing the requirements of the AAAA Professional Pilot Program that requires pilots to accrue mandatory professional development points.
Accreditation of Loader / Mixers
In order to facilitate safe procedures on the ground, loaders and mixers (ground support staff) are trained in the correct methods of handling chemicals via the “Chemical Handling Manual for Agricultural Aviation”. The loader / mixers are tested on their knowledge of this manual through a two hour examination and receive certification upon successfully completing the exam. The pass rate is 70% and over 100 loader mixers currently hold accreditation.
Both the “Pilots and Operators Manual” and the “Chemical Handling Manual” were professionally prepared by the University of Queensland’s Centre for Pesticide Application and Safety (CPAS).
Spraysafe Order Form
To order your Spraysafe Manuals or sign up for a Loader/Mixer or Spraysafe Exam please download the Spraysafe Order Form.