Helitech International Education Programme: EHA Rotorcraft Seminars Lift Off with Keynote Address from EASA

The European Helicopter Association (EHA) will stage its Rotorcraft Seminars in Amsterdam on 15 October 2014 during Helitech International, which will take place at the RAI from 14 - 16 October 2014.  The comprehensive programme will feature a keynote address from Dr Norbert Lohl, Certification Director at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as a host of influential speakers addressing important topics in the rotorcraft industry such as the impact of Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research (SESAR) and perspectives on the Age 60 Rule.

"This year, the EHA Rotorcraft Seminars' main focus will address key issues affecting operators, some of which have already attracted much debate as well as apprehension within the rotorcraft community. Our goal is to provide delegates with the latest news and updates on possible solutions and future actions, in particular reviewing the new EASA organisation and its policies," said Vittorio Morassi, Chairman of the EHA.

"A roundtable session with SESAR rotorcraft experts will offer a unique opportunity to delve deeper into this new, complex and very exciting programme where new technologies will enhance rotorcraft operations," explained Mr. Morassi. "Finally, the new capability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is expanding very fast. For rotorcraft operators who are already considering these new "devices" the seminar will update delegates on UAV progress including rules and regulations."

Following a welcome and introduction from Mr Morassi, Dr Norbert Lohl will deliver his keynote address to be moderated by Peter Norton, Chief Executive of the British Helicopter Association.

"As of September this year, EASA will restructure and emphasise its rotorcraft activities by introducing a new department that has a much more focused approach from its experts and rulemakers. There will be one point of contact for everyone within the rotorcraft related community, so we are really excited about this and I will go into more detail during my presentation at the EHA Seminar," clarified Dr Lohl.

"My presentation will also highlight that EASA will become more specific when defining certification activities, such as identifying risks when it comes to new technology, design organisations and importantly working methods in relation to the recent and significant changes in SMS style. Finally, I will be paying special attention to safety and operational advantages deriving from performance-based navigation in environments like HEMS and Offshore activities; EASA want to highlight these areas to improve, maintain and enable these factors to ensure the rotorcraft sector implements its social obligations."

Following the conclusion of Dr Lohl's address there will be a question and answer session which will then be followed by an overview of EASA rulemaking activities provided by Oyvind Friis-Ottessen, Rulemaking Officer at EASA, which directly impact rotorcraft operations, including those stemming from the SESAR programme.

The next session will be a roundtable discussion on the theme of "SESAR - what's in it for Rotorcraft?" involving a top-level panel which will debate how this complex programme will affect the rotorcraft sector and how the challenges ahead can really improve the safety and efficiency of rotorcraft operations. The panellists will include Robin Garrity,ATM Expert at SESAR Joint Undertaking; Sigmund Lockert, Deputy Manager, Flight Operations at CHC HelikopterService;Pierluigi Parente, Flight Regulation and Infrastructures Senior Manager at AgustaWestland and Philippe Rollet, Senior Expert ATM at Airbus Helicopters.

Moderated by Aviation Consultant Luigi Simoncini, PD Dr. Britta Herbig will then make a presentation on the Age 60 Rule focusing on medical and cognitive risks for flight safety.

"The Age 60 Rule is a hot topic politically within the rotorcraft industry. Europe has adopted the Age 60 Rule and this also takes in Air Rescue operations. The Rule itself can potentially be difficult to implement as pilots may find themselves having to retire early without social provisions in place," explained Dr Herbig.

"HEMS is especially affected by the Rule as pilots usually fly solo during HEMS operations so as not to exceed the maximum take-off weight of the helicopter, which has to carry additionally an emergency doctor, a paramedic, and, when required, a patient. Whereas the Age 60 Rule forbids pilots over the age of 59 to act as a commander in single pilot operations, so the consequences are rather high for a HEMS pilot," added Dr Herbig.

She continued; "The Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich conducted some research with German and Austrian Air Rescue organisations to see if the Age 60 Rule is reasonable. My presentation will divulge the results of this research that was primarily based around three key areas including medical reasons, simulation results testing pilots' performance in age critical demands and liability damages as an approximation for pilot errors."

The next topic in the EHA Rotorcraft Seminars will address UAVs and will be presented by Dieter Klein, Managing Director at AIR LLOYD Deutsche Helicopter Flugservice.  Mr Klein will discuss from an operator's perspective with a focus on the "rules of the air" in the lower airspace and the future of these systems from an operational viewpoint. Mr Klein will then answer questions from the floor on this important sector of the rotorcraft industry.

Flight Time Limitations (FTL) will be at the centre of the subsequent session viewed from both the crew member and operator's perspective, covering some of the most important and basic key issues for rotary-wing EMS operations in Europe. Delegates will hear from pilots Andrea Pertegato and Andreas Hjert who fly for INAER Aviation Italia and Norskluftambulanse respectively. They will present the main types of operating patterns, crew concepts, scheduling types as well as the possible negative impacts on safety arising from a poorly designed FTL-regulation; they will also take delegates' questions at the end of the presentation.

Pierluigi Fumagalli, C.E.O, Studio di Progettazione & Consulenza Aeronautica, will then take the stage to discuss Annex 14 and how a possible increase in the minimum Final Approach and Take-Off area (FATO) dimension of PC1 heliports is going to affect operations and budgets. As there is a new direction towards achieving objective standards, Mr Fumagalli will provide an update on the ICAO Heliport Design Working Group activities based on such standards and his session will conclude with questions from the floor.A change of Annex 14 Vol. II that would increase the minimum FATO dimension of PC1 heliports is expected.

The EHA Rotorcraft Seminars will conclude with a presentation from Captain Agustin Baigorri, Flight Operations Manager at COYOTAIR SA on aerial fire-fighting across Southern Europe.  Captain Baigorri's presentation will discuss key topics such as regulatory issues, the lack of crew and training requirements, night operations and aerial co-ordination of large fires.                                        

For further event information visit www.helitechevents.com or contact Carol Bowler at CMS Strategic +44 (0)20 8748 9797 or email carol.bowler@cmsstrategcic.com

Helitech International

Helitech has long been established as the leading show in the rotary wing market outside the USA. The event was launched in 1986 alongside Offshore Europe in Aberdeen before moving to run as a standalone event at Redhill in 1987. Helitech stayed at Redhill until it moved to The Imperial War Museum, Duxford in 2001. In 2011 Helitech proudly celebrated 25 years of supporting the rotary industry. In 2012 Helitech International was established, in association with the European Helicopter Association, to attract a wider international audience and offer exhibitors and visitors alike the opportunity to network on an international level. Helitech International 2014 will take place at the Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands from 14 - 16 October 2014. www.helitechevents.com 

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