Helitech conference to address the future of the rotorcraft industry

Helitech conference to address the future of the rotorcraft industry

16-Aug-2013 Source: Helitech

The three-day Helitech International Conference will bring together rotary experts involved from flight operations, operators, financing, safety agencies, certification and market forecasting to create a truly international platform addressing a number of key issues impacting the rotorcraft industry. Taking place at ExCeL in London, UK between 24 – 26 September, and run in association with the European Helicopter Association (EHA), the Conference will open on the afternoon of Tuesday 24 September with a keynote address from Dr Norbert Lohl, Certification Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), who will present a vision for the future of the rotorcraft sector, the opportunities and the challenges, against the backdrop of on-going European-wide initiatives and the regulatory environment.

The theme for the opening session of this year’s Conference will be ‘The Future for the Rotorcraft Sector’, to be moderated by Vittorio Morassi, Chairman of the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and who will also welcome the audience to this year’s Helitech International Conference. On the conference, Vittorio Morassi said, “I have always been a strong believer in the effectiveness of informative and educational conferences. This coupled with good communication flow and competence, are fundamental in creating awareness and culture as well as enabling people to be more proactive. This is why the Helitech International Conference, tailored to present topics of particular interest to the rotorcraft sector, is so important.”

The second speaker will be Carlo M. Borghini, Deputy Executive Director of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking, who will outline the latest SESAR initiatives and milestones. Topic areas will cover the progressive adoption of enabling technology to 2020 and beyond; industry/OEM collaboration in design and manufacture of low-cost, low-power, light weight communications and navigation and surveillance equipment to encourage early adoption; certification standards and those best-equipped and best-served in certain types of airspace.

The following speaker will be Sigmund Lockert, Deputy Manager, Flight Operations at CHC Helicopter, who will detail issues for the rotorcraft sector in accessing the Single European Sky. More than 300 projects are initiated within SESAR’s programme to increase air traffic efficiency, increase flight safety and reduce cost. Airspace users, including rotorcraft via the EHA, are engaged in the various projects. The outcome will affect future helicopter operations both with respect to concept of operation and equipment. This presentation will highlight some of the areas that will affect future operations including an overview of the SESAR programme, projects in which the rotorcraft representatives are involved and the impact of future European and global rotorcraft operations.

After a short Q&A session, the last two speakers on the opening afternoon will include Marc Torres, Air Navigation Consultant at Pildo Labs and Captain Carlos de la Cruz, HEMS Pilot at INAER.

Mr Torres will focus on the next steps on the implementation of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures for helicopter operations using GPS and EGNOS. Helicopter operations today are very constrained by meteorological conditions. But new IFR procedures, enabled by GPS and EGNOS, will allow helicopters to keep flying in low visibility conditions. They enable operators to fly very accurate trajectories, minimising the risk of controlled flight into terrain. Captain Carlos de la Cruz will provide a perspective from an operator’s experience outlining the projects in which INAER is involved and INAER’s interest in deploying IFR procedures using GPS and EGNOS.

The theme for the second day of the Conference will be ‘Night-time Helicopter Emergency Operations’, to be moderated by Gerry Hermer, Aviation Consultant at East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).The first presenter to open this session will be Tim Page, Chief Executive at EAAA, which recently became the first emergency service operation to be granted permission to fly during the hours of darkness. Delegates will have the opportunity to listen and learn how the EAAA, its operations partners and the regulators fared on the path to achieving night-time missions. In addition to other perspectives from European operators (including Bond Air Services) Captain Carlos de la Cruz, HEMS Pilot at INAER, will provide a Spanish input on night-time operations to include the concept and design of the night HEMS operation and the advantages of using NVG in order to improve flight safety.

A panel discussion will then follow that will discuss the view across Europe, which will feature Willy Sigl, Rulemaking Officer at EASA Flight Standards, who will join session speakers to consider the critical issues around gaining permission for night HEMS operations and the on-going operational challenges, which will also include an audience Q&A period.

The afternoon agenda will then switch to ‘Rulemaking – Open Issues’, to be moderated by Peter Norton, Chief Executive of the British Helicopter Association, which will open with Willy Sigl’s overview of the new operations and flight crew licensing rules relevant for helicopter operations, featuring active and future helicopter-specific rulemaking tasks. Peter Moeller, Flight Operations Manager, Rotor Wing at Luxembourg Air Ambulance, will then present ‘The challenges ahead – Flight & Duty Time Limitations’ to be followed by Gerhard Wittmann of ADAC discussing ‘The challenges ahead – Helicopter Emergency Medical Services and Public Interest Sites.’

This session will close with an industry discussion on the way forward featuring regulators and operators who will be examining the issues and potential solutions for the rotorcraft sector.

The theme for the final day of the Conference will be ‘Business Challenges and Opportunities’, with the morning proceedings moderated by Dominic Perry, News Editor at Flightglobal. The first speaker will be Dr Andrew Black, Director and Head of Analysisat Hawk Associates, who will analyse the outlook for the rotorcraft sector, highlighting market forecasts in terms of sales, values, after-market and the competitive environment including sector trends and new sector/market opportunities.

To discuss these critical market trends in more detail, an industry panel discussion and Q&A will then take place featuring Roberto Garavaglia, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at AgustaWestland, Michael Hampton, Managing Director at Capital Air Services and a representative from CHC Helicopter.

The conference will then close with a session looking into ‘Financing the Future’, to be moderated by Aoife O’Sullivan, Partner at Kennedys Aviation, who will lead a panel discussion on the important funding opportunities for businesses. These will include important topics such as how to use export credits for financing and how best to present a business case to the financiers and to optimise the chances of accessing funds. Panellists will include Jason Kmiecik, Chief Appraiser at HeliValues and Andrew Woolfson, Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa at AirFinance.

John Hyde, Event Director for Helitech International said, “There is no doubt that we have a very impressive line-up of speakers at this year’s Conference who are all experts in their respective fields. By exploring the key emerging trends and issues within the rotorcraft industry, the international perspective will offer unrivalled insight and stimulate quality discussion which will ultimately add an in-depth dimension for all delegates.”

For further information on the conference please visit http://www.helitechevents.com/conference/

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