11-Feb-2012 Source: TOPS
Helicopter Flight Services (HFS) of New York City will be welcomed into the helicopterÂ Tour Operators Program of Safety(TOPS) (Booth #4105) at the TOPS meeting at HELI-EXPO in Dallas.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to welcome HFS to TOPS and commend their commitment to helicopter tour operation safety,â€ said TOPS Chair Tim Cudney. â€œChoosing to become a member of TOPS and continue to meet our requirements is a significant commitment of time and resources. In a time when the public is questioning helicopter tours, it is extremely important to invest in safe operations. We look forward to Helicopter Flight Safetyâ€™s contributions to increased helicopter tour safety.â€
â€œHFS is constantly looking to improve on safety and service. By joining TOPS, HFS hopes to gain additional credibility and exposure which will enable us to continue to grow and prosper,â€ said Helicopter Flight Services Safety Officer Fred Hanna.
HFS provides tours of the New York City area from the Downtown Wall Street Heliport as HeliNY. Operating in New York since 1986, HFS operates the Bell 406 helicopter and recently took delivery of three new Bell 407GXs, each equipped with the Garmin 1000H, designed with Synthetic Vision and Enhanced Terrain Avoidance, and with the Bellâ€™s â€œQuiet Modeâ€ technology to reduce noise impact in New York City. One of HFSâ€™sÂ 407GX aircraft is on display at the Bell Helicopter Booth here at HELI-EXPO.
TOPS is a non-profit safety organization dedicated to increasing the safety of helicopter tour operations in the United States. Founded in 1996, the organization worked with the FAA, NTSB and the Helicopter Association International (HAI) to identify areas within a tour operatorâ€™s management, flight operations, maintenance, ground personnel and equipment that could be enhanced beyond FAA Part 135 regulations. From there, it designed its comprehensive program of safety. Every TOPS regular member must meet the programâ€™s requirements and pass an annual independent initial audit to confirm it meets or exceeds the program.
Helicopter operators wishing to join the organization must first receive a review by a TOPS member mentor then pass a rigorous new member audit designed to confirm the company meets or exceeds TOPS safety requirements. HFS spent the fall updating their operation to meet the TOPS requirements, received a mentor visit in December 2011, and passed their audit in January 2012.
TOPS welcomes any Part 135 helicopter operator with a regular, scheduled and advertised helicopter tour operation within the United States to apply for membership.