Cobham wins a two year FIFO contract with Xstrata Nickel Australia


The new contract allows employees to fly by BAe 146 jet into a remote gravel airstrip at the Cosmos Nickel Mine in Western Australia.

Cobham has won a two-year fly-in fly-out (FIFO) contract to carry Xstrata Nickel Australasia employees by jet to the remote gravel airstrip at the Cosmos Nickel Mine in Western Australia.

The contract uses 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 Xstrata Nickel Australia incorporating gravel kit-equipped BAe146s.

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 longer term 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 WA.”

“We are glad to be associated with Cobham Aviation following a thorough review,” said Al Coutts, executive general manager of Xstrata Nickel Austra;ia. “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.”

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