The Brazilian Association of Air Taxis (ABTaer) has protested what it describes as the illegal use of helicopters for passenger shuttle purposes during the Formula 1 World Championship auto race in São Paulo in November.
According to association president Commandant Milton Arantes, more than 90 percent of the helicopters used to transport passengers to the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos) circuit were private aircraft not authorized to carry passengers for hire.
He added that ABTaer planned to file a formal complaint with Brazil’s civil aviation authority (ANAC, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil), asking that the violations be investigated and violators punished.
Arantes said high demand stimulated by the event encouraged owners of private aircraft not approved for charter to make them available to third parties for hire. Those who choose to fly in a clandestine helicopter airlift do not know the standards for maintenance, or whether the pilot is qualified, or whether the aircraft and pilot are licensed to carrying passengers for hire, “and are thus unaware of the danger,” he explained.
ABTaer is a two-year-old organization composed of 42 companies formed to deal with issues in Brazil affecting the air-taxi segment. The association is sponsoring a national meeting of air-taxi companies at São Paulo’s Campo de Marte on Saturday, December 8.