6-Mar-2011 Source: Spidertracks
The worldâ€™s oldest and largest helicopter sightseeing company, Papillon, announced at Heli-Expo today that is making a commitment to improving the safety of its fleet and passengers by choosing spidertracks aircraft tracking system for its flight following. The Las Vegas-based company flies 40,000 hours a year, offering sightseeing tours around Nevada and into the Grand Canyon, as well as contracting to the Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Forest Service, Game and Fish Department and utility companies.
Director of operations John Becker says they needed a tracking system that would enable them to keep in contact with their aircraft, wherever they were flying. â€œMany of our contracts cause us to be operating remotely and we also have aircraft descending into the Grand Canyon, where providing positive radio contact can be a challenge. Finding a tracking system that would suit our operation was essential to improve the safety of our fleet and passengers. Spidertracks meets that need and has proven to be extremely reliable.â€
He says they tested other systems before choosing spidertracks. â€œSpidertracks proved to be the most reliable for our application. We find spidertracks to have easy web access and we especially like the ability to track our aircraft utilizing the iPhone application. The system also has a maintenance and alert function that has already proved itself useful.
â€œWe find spidertracks to be extremely accurate, locating our aircraft wherever they are to within a few feet.â€
Becker says the key benefit for the company is that the system takes the search out of search and rescue. â€œIf an aircraft has an emergency or needs to make an unscheduled landing in a remote area like we experience in the desert southwest, spidertracks can activate our emergency response plan by sending out alert messages to everyone on our emergency response team. It will tell us exactly where the aircraft is and helps them go directly to them without delay.
â€œSpidertracks also helps to keep the honest pilot honest! Because â€˜big brother is watchingâ€™ we can monitor what any of our pilots are doing at any given time. This is so important to our operation 1where we have multiple operators flying in tight flight corridors where deviations on the flight route could prove to be problematic.â€
Spidertracks Sales Director Bruce Bartley says they are extremely pleased to have Papillon on board. â€œWe have a number of customers that are part of the TOPS safety group. These tourism operators recognize the importance of ensuring the safety of their customers and their fleets. â€œTo have a prestigious company like Papillon invest in spidertracks sends a very positive signal to the rest of the industry that this technology is now the norm.â€
Papillon will initially be installing 30 units into their helicopter fleet, with a further 20 being installed in Grand Canyon Airlinesâ€™ Twin Otters, Caravans and Cessna 207s that offer tours of the Grand Canyon. About Papillon Helicopters.
Since 1965 Papillon Helicopters has been the worldâ€™s oldest and largest sightseeing company flying an estimated 40,000 flight hours annually. Papillon operates from bases at the Grand Canyon South Rim, Las Vegas, Boulder City, and the Grand Canyon West airport. Tours feature sights of the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon. Primarily designed for aircraft tours, many of the 43 helicopters in the Papillon fleet feature vista windows and all offer pre- recorded narratives in 12 languages for passengers that come from all over the world. Papillon also has a number of exclusive use contracts with the Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, U.S Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Unisource Energy. It is founding member of the Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) which is an independent organization that takes aviation tourism to a whole new level of safety and recognizes Papillon for meeting and exceeding federal safety standards and procedures.
Spidertracks was launched in 2007 to fill the gap in the aircraft tracking market for portable, simple and cost effective satellite-based tracking solution. The company has aircraft and vehicle fleet customers and recreational pilots using spidertracks in over 50 countries. Spidertracks uses the Iridium Satellite Network to ensure global coverage and reliability. Spidertracks is AFF compliant and can provide data into nominated government agencies. Spidertracksâ€™ North American office is in Boulder, Colorado, and can be contacted on 1-800-491- 2895 or through the website www.spidertracks.com