By S.L. Fuller | January 28, 2018
Airbus said its helicopter division safety expert worked throughout 2017 to increase safety in Latin America. The manufacturer said Erick Perez led several safety initiatives, meeting with employees from its customer centers and at operators’ and authorities’ offices in Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica.
“In 2017, we raised awareness on helicopter flight safety for nearly 2,000 people,” said Perez. “That’s roughly the same number of people we saw over the last five years.”
According to Airbus, the need to address helicopter aviation safety is “at a peak,” with an increased amount of traffic in the air.
“Some 85% of helicopter accidents have been shown to be due to operational causes,” Airbus said.
For the past 11 years, Airbus said, it has held safety roadshows to address the matter. And in 2017, it organized almost 100 worldwide.
According to Airbus, Mexico’s accident rate has decreased by 65% in seven years. But, the rate remains high, compared to North America and Europe. Perez is co-chairman of the International Helicopter Safety Team for Mexico. In 2017, he helped to found its Chilean branch.
Airbus said Perez supervised the organization of 13 safety roadshows, carried out surveys with operators to understand their safety expectations, implemented an efficient crisis management system in the event of accidents and coordinated training activities. He also led safety talks at customer centers in Mexico and Chile, and contributed to translating, proofreading and approving numerous documents in Spanish that promote safety.
Rajan Raman, an Airbus Helicopters technical director in India, spread the same message. Airbus said he helped organize 18 safety roadshows in Nepal and India with operators and authorities.
Airbus said there are 107 Airbus helicopters operating in India for 38 customers.
During these roadshows, Airbus said, participants showed particular interest in the practical application of safety management systems during daily maintenance operations and missions.
This year, Raman is set to continue his efforts. He has a presentation scheduled to give to the Rotary Wing Society of India, as well as discussions with authorities on the use of single-engine aircraft for projects aimed at improving access to mountainous regions.