The country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, recently began a rapid expansion of its economy and infrastructure, due to a relaxation of sanctions that have been in place for some time. As offshore oil exploration, tourism, and other traditional helicopter markets expand, the Myanmar Ministry of Transportation is faced with the task of developing regulations for the oversight of civil helicopter operations where none have existed in the past.
Several helicopter operators are seeking operating certificates from the Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and have requested the assistance of HAI to establish a solid safety foundation as they move forward. In response, Stan Rose, HAI’s director of safety outreach, traveled to Yangon, Myanmar on April 28 to take part in the 1st Myanmar Helicopter Safety Seminar.
Rose was joined by Douglas Cavenaugh, a former member of the HAI Safety Committee and an active safety auditor, based in Singapore; and Louis Sorrentino, vice president of safety at ICF SH&E (part of the ICF International consulting company). The group made presentations on helicopter maintenance, operations, the value of third party audits, and regulatory oversight to an audience of more than 90 attendees representing the ministries of Transportation and Health and Environment, as well as the DCA, police departments, the military, and offshore operators.
HAI would like to thank the local sponsors of the meeting: U Khin Maung Thein, vice chairman of Global Integrated Service; and U Win Swe Tun, deputy director general of the DCA, who set the tone for the future by insisting on safety as a foundation for helicopter operations.