Analyses of helicopter accidents point to operational factors as prime contributors to rotorcraft accidents. Airbus Helicopters’ Aviation Safety Roadshows aim to change the safety culture by mobilizing our network of customer centers and promoting helicopter safety through seminars around the world.
On a path to operational safety
Aligned with our ‘Safety First’ culture, Airbus Helicopters launched the Aviation Safety Roadshows as a cooperative effort with our customers to increase fleet safety. The Safety Roadshows are the result of Airbus Helicopters’ role in the executive committee for the IHST (International Helicopter Safety Team) and involvement in regional safety initiatives such as the EHEST (European Helicopter Safety Team) and other local chapters. The goal of the IHST is to create an international rotorcraft community with zero accidents worldwide.
The Roadshows allow our teams to accompany customers on the path to improving operational safety. They are headed by the Airbus Helicopters Aviation Safety Network and are attended by local aviation authorities, safety supervisors, pilots, maintenance engineers, operators' top managers. Thomas Gogel, Head of Aviation Safety Network at Airbus Helicopters said, “Airbus Helicopters is committed to a strong cooperation with our customers around the world with the sole purpose to increase the operational safety and reduce the accident rate.”
Each seminar overviews international accident statistics as well as highlighting the importance of analyzing rotorcraft incidents to proactively derive and implement preventive measures, an effective measure to preventing accidents. This is followed by an in-depth look at Safety Management Systems (SMS) as well as discussing the notion of a ‘safety culture.’ Maintenance practices and Maintenance Control are covered as well. Each roadshow includes workshops where all of the various parties (Airbus Helicopters, authorities and customers) make safety commitments and consolidated action plans for their own operations.
Pilot Roadshows were first launched in Latin America in 2010 and were attended by regional authorities and operators. As of today, 150 operators with 1,200 professionals have been addressed by this outreach effort. The results have been a significant reduction in accidents in the regions concerned and an increased interest in safety awareness, information and training.
Safety on a global scale
The success of the Safety Roadshows has led to their deployment around the world. In the past year, more than 60 Safety seminars and road show events were held internationally, bringing together local aviation actors who have a role to play in guaranteeing a successful safety culture. The concept is adapted to meet local culture and language needs and local leads are assigned and trained respectively. Regional Air Services, a private aviation operator in Romania, was one of the attendees at a Safety Roadshow in October 2015. “We were fully satisfied by the action organized by Airbus Helicopters. By presenting the IHST and EHEST’s position on the flight safety to the Romanian industry, we see it as one more way to increase safety awareness.”
Our safety teams are increasing their global footprint and recently began regional initiatives with seminars in China, Russia, Romania, Indonesia and Myanmar with more to come in 2016.