New Rules Too Strict, Warns Australian Helicopter Lobby

 - January 4, 2014, 5:00 AM

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) is voicing concerns about national rule harmonization with international standards–changes that the AHIA warns could bring major additional costs but little safety improvement. Among the changes is a proposed fatigue management philosophy that could call for hiring an extra crew at an IFR/NVIS helicopter base, and thus increase a Bell 412’s hourly rate by an estimated 25 percent. Another worry has been proposed legislation that bans piston-powered helicopters from populous areas. The impact could be significant, as more than 60 percent of Australia’s 2,100 helicopters are piston-powered and are seen as the mainstay of the tourist industry.