One of the ATSB’s 2022/23 Safety Watch items is to reduce passenger injuries in commercial ballooning operations.
This item has been included following a number of occurrence investigations and an investigation brief conducted by the ATSB into commercial ballooning operations since 2018, 9 of which involved minor or serious passenger injuries. One hard landing at Yarra Glen, Victoria (Investigation AO-2018-016) resulted in serious injuries to 4 passengers and minor injuries to 7 more.
It is intended that this study will benchmark ballooning operations in Australia against other similar operations, to identify systemic areas of concern. The results of this benchmark will form the basis of the ballooning safety watch initiative, and will identify what further investigation, research and education work is required for this sector of operations.
Once established, the systemic safety concerns identified will be shared with industry to promote a generative safety culture, encourage further reporting of occurrences, and drive future safety action.