HAI at Work Wednesday

Paul Smith HAI at Work

A weekly update illustrating some of the ways Helicopter Association International (HAI) is “Keeping the Rotors Turning” for our members.

Zac Noble, Deputy Director of Flight Operations & Technical Services

This week, Zac is participating in the Safety Risk Management Panel for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Tool. Some changes are in the works to make the weather tool more user friendly for operators throughout general aviation. The panel, which comprises subject matter experts from government and industry, will validate the proposed changes before the HEMS Tool moves forward.

Cade Clark, Vice President of Government Affairs, and John Shea, Director of Government Affairs

This week, Cade and Allison McKay, vice president of Helicopter Foundation International (HFI), are meeting with some of HAI’s members in the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, area. The two are in town to discuss potential legislative efforts at the state level to improve workforce development, such as setting up something similar to Utah’s Rotor Pathway Program, which partners with local universities and high schools to foster rotary aviation education. Allison provided an overview of the foundation’s activities as well as its scholarship program, which encourages and helps new students to enter the industry.

Before the Thanksgiving recess, Congress managed to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government running until Dec. 20. Now back in session, Congress has only 16 days to pass legislation to avoid a shutdown. Top congressional negotiators made progress recently by agreeing on top-line spending levels for all 12 FY2020 appropriations bills. However, another continuing resolution is still likely. The House impeachment proceedings and President Trump’s insistence on border wall funding further complicate matters, adding to the uncertainty and increasing the likelihood of a shutdown.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson will testify next week before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the first time since being sworn in, Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced Monday. The hearing is titled “The Boeing 737 MAX: Examining the Federal Aviation Administration’s Oversight of the Aircraft’s Certification.” Reports have surfaced that the Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a future hearing focused on the FAA, but the panel will likely “wait until the bulk of the ongoing investigations are complete so as to have the most informative hearing possible.”

Matt Callan, Director of Regulations & International Affairs

Matt is attending a tabletop exercise (see photo) at the L’Enfant Plaza FAA building in Washington, D.C., examining the use of recreational unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operated above 400 feet. Matt is one of the subject matter experts assigned to provide input following each of six scenarios. Next week, the group will conduct the actual safety risk management panel portion of the exercise.

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