Bell Helicopter announced an upgrade program for its 412EPI that will increase the helicopter’s operational flexibility to meet future regulatory and mission needs. The program will focus on further testing and improvements of the rotorcraft’s Category A certification to provide increased operational flexibility for Cat A Part B procedures with respect to elevated heliports, as well as the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports. The upgrade program will start next month and conclude early next year, allowing for deliveries of upgraded Bell 412EPIs to begin next year.
U.S. delegate Eleanor Norton (D-D.C.) has proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 transportation appropriations bill that would overturn the FAA ban on most civil helicopter operations within the District of Columbia. Norton’s amendment would pave the way for the re-opening of the South Capitol Street Heliport (09W, SCSH), which has been closed to most public traffic since 2005 to accommodate security concerns. The heliport was opened in 1998 and hosted 41 corporate operators. Public access was limited after the terrorist attacks on Sept.
Even as the presence of helicopter OEMs doubled in India (to 10 from five), double-digit growth in its civil helicopter fleet in the seven years preceding 2011 gave way to negative growth last year when the fleet reduced from 293 to 266.
High operational costs, exacerbated by a depreciated rupee that fell 35 percent in the past 40 months, are posing challenges for the industry. “It’s a cumulative result of lack of optimum utilization, safety performance, infrastructure constraints and regulatory issues,” said K. Sridharan, president of the Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI).
Baltimore Helicopter Services (BHS) received TSA approval to fly passengers directly from its Pier 7 Heliport in Baltimore to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). This makes Pier 7 the first heliport in the U.S. to receive such approval as a gateway airport under the TSA’s Fixed Base Operator Standard Security Program, allowing pre-cleared helicopters to land at the heliport and be screened for access to DCA.
Helicidade Heliporto (HeliCity Heliport) is making its fourth consecutive LABACE appearance (Stand 2019), with a larger exhibit totaling 25 sq m, which is aimed at promoting the heliport’s reputation as “one of the greatest heliports in Latin America.” Certainly it is one of the most luxurious, thanks in part to a series of recent modernization projects to ensure greater guest comfort.
A UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s special bulletin [preliminary report] on the January 16 helicopter crash in central London appears to blame the pilot and sole occupant of the Agusta A109E for failure to maintain sufficient forward visibility while flying in congested airspace over the River Thames. The helicopter struck a building crane on the south side of the river killing the pilot and a pedestrian on the ground after the aircraft fell to the street.
London’s Battersea Heliport–now known as Barclays London Heliport following a sponsorship deal with the UK bank–is making the most of its unique position as London’s only heliport for the Olympic Games. It is situated on the Thames River opposite Chelsea, well west of the city and the Olympic Park, which is also close to the Thames.
The Reuben Brothers, owners of London Oxford Airport and Barclays London Heliport, have announced discounts for single-engine helicopters to use its facilities.
Children’s Hospital New Orleans received approval June 18 for a new helicopter WAAS LPV approach to bring arrivals down to a height above landing (HAL) of 270 feet. The new procedure allowing more precise guidance in poor weather was developed by Orange Beach, Ala.-based Hickok & Associates.
The Civil Aviation Directorate of Serbia has launched an initiative to open a registered “heliport” in each municipality in the country. AIN understands these will be proper landing areas with at least a wind sock. Municipalities would have to pay for land development and site maintenance. Currently, the Serbian registry of heliports includes only eight platforms.
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