A message from Airbus Helicopters’ EVP of Customer Support & Services, Christoph Zammert:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been humbled and impressed by how our operators have risen to the challenge of combatting the most wide-ranging health crisis to hit our planet in modern times. Whether EMS, police, search and rescue or military organisations, you all have one sole goal in mind: saving lives and keeping people safe, every single day.
As the manufacturer of your vertical lift solutions, it is our responsibility to provide you with the elevated levels of service required to keep your operations running as safely and efficiently as possible.
Since the beginning, we’ve collaborated closely with EASA and the European Helicopter Association (EHA), providing our support and recommendations whenever possible. Most recently, we have put in place a dedicated team of Airbus EMS experts to provide efficient advice to customers working the front line. And this resolute work continues, with recent examples such as:
Protecting helicopter pilots and crews:
• Our subsidiary in Brazil, Helibras, recently helped adapt a PID manufactured by a local supplier for the small cabin of our intermediate single-engine H125. PIDs are the most sophisticated type of protective unit available because they contain the patient environment and eliminate the need for disinfection. The installation was tested by operators with extensive experience in EMS missions and finally authorized by Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for all helicopter types. The device is produced in accordance with international standards by a local supplier that is responsible for its approval towards health authorities.
• DRF Luftrettung has already equipped six of its light-twin H145 helicopters with the Epishuttle PID, with five more following soon. In total, the operator has transported more than 100 COVID-19 patients, mainly inter-hospital transports.
• We’ve partnered with the Airbus Foundation, the French Fondation de l’Academie de Medicine (FAM), and operator Babcock to support the certification of the B.R.A.V.E. Covid-19 protective units spearheaded by the CHU Dijon Bourgogne and a local French company, Bache 21, for installation on H135 helicopters. Already 24 of these have been outfitted for the French SAMU, with five more on order. And we are actively working with authorities in other countries in hopes of making this solution more widely available.
• We’ve issued information notices communicating important guidance regarding cabin-cockpit separation devices available in local markets; the ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems on Airbus helicopters; and instructions on how to properly clean and disinfect helicopters, workspaces and tools that have been contaminated by COVID-19.
The power of data analytics for helicopter operators:
With operations stressed to the limit, helping you better manage your fleets via data analytics is a continued focus. During the COVID-19 crisis, we have been assisting our EMS operators in transferring their data seamlessly from their site of operations to the Airbus Helicopters data platform.
• Accompanying this data transfer is our Fleet Monitoring website application, available from the AirbusWorld collaborative customer portal. This data analytics service provides overviews of flight sessions and associated usage parameters such as cycles, engines counters and events; data quality and consistency checks; and fleet airworthiness status.
• For EMS customers like Hungarian Air Ambulance and HTM Helicopters, our in-house experts analyzed their data on a daily basis in the early weeks of the crisis, thereby easing their data analysis workload by 70 percent, allowing them to focus entirely on their life-saving operations. Our Flight Analyser application is at the heart of these analyses, automatically processing flight data and detecting potential incidents before they lead to potential accidents.
• All of this data was available to our technical support teams, ensuring that when they received a customer query, they had the latest data at their fingertips.
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