BAN's World GazetteerU.K.
Five major helicopter operators have announced a new industry association, HeliOffshore, with the intention of working together on safety in offshore helicopter transport.
The association will use cross-industry cooperation as a platform for enhancing the overall strong safety record. It will share best practices, develop and apply advanced technology, and encourage common global flight standards.
Gretchen Haskins, who was selected as HeliOffshore's chief executive last month, says the association is open to any group with a stake in offshore helicopter flight. Membership is expected to include customers of helicopter services, aircraft manufacturers, service providers, technology companies, staff and passenger organisations, and government and research institutions.
She comments: “HeliOffshore will work to achieve the highest levels of safety, in the air and on the ground. We want to deliver real safety benefits for the people who depend on the industry to get to and from their offshore workplaces, the crews who fly the helicopters and the teams who maintain them.”
The founding members of the organisation are Avincis, Bristow Group, CHC Helicopter, Era and PHI, with several dozen others expected to join in due course.
“The industry will continue to compete vigorously on commercial issues, but safety is not a competitive factor,” adds Haskins. “The best way to continually improve safety standards is through cooperation.”
HeliOffshore has identified six priority areas: automation, pilot monitoring, stabilised approaches, accident survivability, application of HUMS and information exchange. Haskins is a recognised expert in human factors of safety, and has an extensive record of leadership in raising aviation safety performance by increasing partnership.
William E. Chiles, who recently retired as president and ceo of Bristow, is the first chairman of the board of directors, which includes James Drummond from Avincis, Bill Amelio from CHC, Chris Bradshaw of ERA and PHI's Al Gonsoulin.