New Restrictions Spark French Helo Lobby Ire
The French helicopter lobby association, UFH, is voicing concern about two new sets of rules recently released by the country’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC. UFH says the rules will jeopardize the economic viability of many helicopter operators, not to mention contradict current rules. The first national regulation now prohibits training flights that involve repetitive maneuvers from flying near densely populated areas. “Flying schools have their customers precisely in these areas,” Thierry Couderc, the UFH’s general delegate, told AIN. This rule also prohibits sightseeing flights to or from densely populated areas. Diversified operators require sightseeing business to stay in the black, Couderc said. The other set of rules is targeted at the Paris heliport, located at the southwest border of the city. To reduce noise around the landing platform, helicopters are now required to follow more complicated flight paths. A consequence of this is a reduction in mtow and thus payload. The UFH also said the new trajectories are not consistent with existing noise-abatement measures for the heliport.