Chair: Captain Matthew Nielsen
The IFALPA Helicopter Committee (HELCOM) focuses on all aspects of rotary wing related matters and advises the Executive Board on these issues, as well working in close co-operation with all of the other standing committees within the Federation. Commercial Helicopter operations around the world cover a wide variety of tasks from the transportation of offshore and onshore personnel, flight training and corporate work, to the more challenging search & rescue operations, police and emergency medical services, as well as advanced aerial work such as under slung load operations, crop spraying and power line inspection/repair.
Helicopter Accident Level
The accident level in helicopter transportation is still significantly greater than that found in fixed wing operations, and although the overall rate is slowly declining, it continues to be a major cause for concern. Among the reasons for this disparity, as identified by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHEST), are a lack of training, an indigent safety culture and poor management. The goal of the HELCOM is to reduce this accident level by improving all areas of helicopter flight safety, and this remains our primary commitment.
The active members of today’s Committee come from Member Associations representing Helicopter Operations from around the world, and these pilot associations, via their technical committees, work continuously to improve air safety. Our Member Associations commonly have the same goal as most operators, having the belief that creating successful, stable companies with robust safety initiatives, is the best way forward for all concerned. The ‘grass roots’ voice of pilots can often bring a reality and balance to the difficult process of creating regulations which are intended to be workable, economically viable, and most importantly, deliver meaningful improvements to air safety.
The HELCOM currently holds one main meeting per year, with the work of the committee being focused on ICAO in support of IFALPA’s representation on the Air Navigation Commission. In addition to this, we have representation on a number of influential rotary wing working groups/organisations and work closely with our colleagues on the European Cockpit Association Helicopter Working Group. Active pilot participation is paramount to us maintaining our commitment to make rotary wing operations as safe as is humanly possible, and we welcome new input, so please join us!