The recent spate of accidents in helicopter offshore oil operations has thrown safety research programs–many of which have long been under way–into the spotlight. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is working on improving the safety of offshore helicopter operations through research into satellite-guided approaches–which would rely on Egnos, Europe’s Waas counterpart–and, in case of ditching, a side-floating concept.
Aviation International News » September 2009
France-based helicopter operator Ixair is stopping its private pilot training business and laying off about 10 employees. These changes, combined with slow demand for passenger transport, have caused a reorganization of the company’s sites throughout the country.
RotorWay in late July unveiled a new production turbine trainer helicopter that it claims will be the world’s most efficient. The Eagle 300T will be powered by a Rolls-Royce RR300B1 engine, similar, but not identical, to the engine used in the Robinson R66. RotorWay CEO Grant Norwitz said the new helicopter would cost “more than a Robinson R22 and less than a Robinson R66” but declined to reveal an exact price.
The greater Las Vegas area has the highest and most competitive concentration of helicopter tour operators in the U.S. They have traditionally survived with heavy discounting, under-the-table commissions paid to tour bookers and concierges, low pay, high employee turnover and aging aircraft.
New York’s airspace could be changing. The Hudson River VFR corridor came under fresh and vociferous political attack in the wake of the August 8 fatal midair between a Piper PA-32R piston single and a Liberty Helicopters Eurocopter AS 350BA. The accident killed nine.
Ireland West Airport Knock on the country’s west coast is aiming to provide low-cost services to business aviation traffic transiting between Europe and the U.S.
The French Ministry of Transport has launched a study to establish several helipads or heliports in the Paris area within two years. Operators, who have been anticipating such a move, remain concerned, however, that the addition of more heliports might also entail the imposition of a strict limit on passenger traffic at the current Paris heliport.
Four new AW139s destined for Trinidad and Tobago are the latest in a series of U.S.-manufactured helicopters whose export loans are being backed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im reports guaranteeing through July more than $200 million in U.S. commercial helicopter export loans for aircraft destined for markets in the Americas and Asia.
An exemption that allows helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) operators to conduct Part 135 EMS departures under IFR rules in VFR conditions and in the absence of approved weather-reporting sources has been extended to Sept. 30, 2011. To qualify to fly under Exemption 6175, an operator must be a member of both the Helicopter Association International and the Association of Air Medical Services.
St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland is building a new terminal to serve the European business aviation market. To be completed within two years, the facility will add office space at the airport, including executive suites, and provide security screening facilities that meet the requirements of the Schengen Treaty, which Switzerland has signed.