The British Helicopter Association (BHA) has made a major achievement with the completion of a contract to facilitate freight and passenger transport by air in support of coronavirus response across the whole of the UK. The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) – the UK Government contract management organisation – has worked tirelessly in recent days to get a simplified document produced which will ensure that payment is made from central Government funds within 14 days of the task being completed. BHA’s CEO Tim Fauchon is justifiably proud of this achievement in support of the UK helicopter industry – covering both members and non-members of the organisation he heads.
BHA has over 180 helicopters available on call for this work, including 80 onshore and a further 100 which can be diverted from offshore work as required. All aircraft are in the fleets of CAA-approved operators who hold an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), a key safety aspect for this initiative. Every helicopter involved is covered by a Safety Management System, as well as all the other aspects of commercial flying required by the CAA. This ensures that every flight channeled through this coronavirus response scheme is being operated to the highest standards by professional pilots.
Over 75% of the helicopter operators involved in this scheme have already signed their contract with CCS. HeliHub.com looks forward to hearing of the first operations being flown under this contract in the coming days.
The BHA-led initiative is being viewed very positively by the CAA and the UK Government. It is feasible that it will be extended to cover fixed wing AOC operators as well – despite the BHA only being involved in helicopter operations in normal times – as there would appear to be no need for other organisations to repeat what BHA has already achieved.
UK based CAA-approved AOC operators (whether or not they are BHA members) are encouraged to call BHA on +44 (0)1276 856100 or email [email protected] with their offers of help, so that these efforts are given an industry-wide focus.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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