Feb. 11, 2021
Staff from various HAI departments share what they’re working on to serve the rotorcraft industry this week, including virtual MTB and FIRC sessions, heliport and aerodome design, two new safety programs, and more.
Greg Brown, HAI Director of Education and Training Services
Two educational programs usually offered at HAI HELI-EXPO will be presented virtually this year, in light of : HAI’s Manufacturers Technical Briefings (MTB) and Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC).
- At the MTB event, to be held virtually March 22–26, you’ll hear the latest updates on maintenance and technical product information from aircraft and engine OEMs. All of the sessions meet FAA requirements for renewal of inspection authorization (IA) certificates and aviation maintenance technician (AMT) credits. Contact for more details.
- FIRC will be held online Mar. 21–22. The FAA-approved, helicopter-only course offers an excellent opportunity to renew your CFI certificate if you’re close to renewal. The class will cover the latest updates in regulations and helicopter flight instruction techniques from leading industry professionals. Look for more information in the coming days on HAI’s .
Chris Hill, HAI Director of Safety
HAI has two new safety programs under development, with rollouts scheduled for the second quarter of 2021:
- Flight and Maintenance Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT). HAI has partnered with a commercial provider, NGFT Solutions, to expand the scope and accessibility of its legacy FRAT program into an expansive suite of free, customizable safety tools optimized for mobile and offline use. Additional details are available at .
- Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). A robust hazard reporting program is considered essential to improving safety, and small helicopter operators with limited resources sometimes struggle to field these programs. HAI has partnered with the to provide HAI members with an aviation safety action program (ASAP) that provides third-party support for the reporting of aviation hazards and events.
Chris Martino, HAI Senior Director of Operations and International Affairs
In recent weeks, Chris Martino has engaged in several initiatives supporting the international rotorcraft industry. During the first week of February, Chris represented the International Federation of Helicopter Associations at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Heliport Design Working Group meetings. The meetings, conducted over a four-day span, covered several topics, including heliport certification, safety management systems (SMS), obstacle environments, and future urban air mobility issues.
Over the next two weeks, Chris will attend meetings of the ICAO Aerodrome Design and Operations Panel. These meetings bring together the international community to address a wide scope of issues related to airport design as well as operations at those facilities. Heliport operations are included in those discussions.
Finally, Chris recently worked with our partners in the South African region to facilitate a meeting to discuss the development of a regional helicopter safety team to support operators in the region. Several international safety teams exist around the globe to enhance regional safety and to build partnerships with other regions. HAI values these international programs and will continue to push for improved international partnerships and collaboration.
Cade Clark, HAI Vice President of Government Affairs, John Shea, HAI Director of Government Affairs, and Emma Taylor, HAI Policy Analyst
HAI Meets with Transportation Secretary Buttigieg
HAI President and CEO Jim Viola met with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday evening, Feb. 10. The Department of Transportation (DOT) extended an invitation to a select number of general aviation association leaders to meet with Buttigieg. The meeting served as an opportunity for leaders to hear from the secretary and provide him with insights into major industry concerns, especially those related to COVID-19 response and recovery. Viola was allotted four minutes to speak with Buttigieg about HAI, its membership, and the association’s priorities for 2021.
HAI Addresses NTSB Findings on January 2020 Helicopter Crash
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported its findings and recommendations related to the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. The NTSB concluded that the pilot’s decision to continue visual flight rules (VFR) flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), resulting in spatial disorientation and loss of control of the aircraft, was the probable cause of the crash. HAI agrees with this assessment and acknowledges the NTSB’s consideration of contributing factors in the crash. HAI believes the best way to improve safety in the industry is by ensuring that the proper culture, systems, and training are available to industry professionals. View the .
Impeachment Proceedings against Former President Donald Trump Begin
Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. The first day of proceedings were devoted to debate on the constitutionality of putting Trump on trial after he had left office. The Senate voted 56–44 that it is constitutional to hold an impeachment trial against Trump. The Senate began hearing arguments from the prosecutor and the defendant yesterday, Feb. 10. A conviction of the former president would require a two-thirds majority; to reach this amount, 17 Republican senators would have to vote in favor of conviction.
Spotlight on Targeted Relief for Aviation in New COVID Relief Bills
Yesterday, Feb. 10, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed its legislation for the transportation sector as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The bill establishes a new, $3 billion program for aviation manufacturing workers. The aviation manufacturing program will help prevent involuntary furloughs of thousands of workers at some 5,000 aeronautical repair stations and similar aviation businesses and roughly 1,500 aerospace manufacturers. The legislation also includes $8 billion for airports, with $100 million specifically for general aviation airports.
Also yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee approved legislation providing a $15 billion extension in payroll support for aviation workers. The legislation authorizes $14 billion for air carriers and $1 billion for industry contractors. This $15 billion would come in the form of a second extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which was originally created under the CARES Act last year and recently extended in the COVID-19 relief package enacted in late December 2020. The PSP is set to expire on Mar. 31, 2021. This second extension would prevent furloughs or other job cuts through the end of September 2021.
FAA Expands Weather Camera Program in Hawaii
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expanding weather camera services to Hawaii to enhance aviation safety and pilot decision-making. These cameras improve safety by providing pilots with near–real time video of weather conditions at their destinations and along their intended flight routes. Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) occurs when a pilot unintentionally flies into the ground, mountainside, or a body of water. The use of these cameras targets and reduces the most common cause of CFIT: loss of visual contact with terrain due to weather. Similar cameras have already been installed in both Alaska and Colorado and have shown great success in enhancing aviation safety.
The FAA will install 23 camera facilities throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and each facility can accommodate up to four cameras. Camera installation on Kauai is set to begin in March. Installation will then progress to the other islands.
FAA Seeking Comments on Information Collection
The FAA is seeking public comments about its intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to renew information collection. Reported information will be used by the public in the FAA Noise Portal to prepare responses to noise complaints or inquiries. Comments on the information collection will be summarized and/or included in the request for the OMB’s approval. The deadline to submit comments is Apr. 9, 2021.
Comments can be sent via:
- Electronic Docket: (enter docket number FAA-2013-0259-2245 into the search field)
- Mail: Idurre L. Isasa-Cowan, Federal Aviation Administration, AEE, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Suite 900W, Washington, DC 20591.
View the .