At the end of April 2017, Airbus helicopters signed a contract with NTU – a project management company specialised in the aviation sector – to organise and hold Aviation Safety Roadshows in 5 South Asian countries: Nepal, Bhutan, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The project – launched by the European Commission (EC) and managed by the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) – aims to promote European aeronautical industries in South Asia, strengthen institutional relations between the EASA and countries in the region and increase flight safety in the area. NTU, mandated by the EASA, has selected a panel of experts to meet this triple objective.
Since 2015, Airbus helicopters has been developing an Aviation Safety Network in its customer centres; the programme aims to address safety issues and includes safety roadshows. “The safety roadshows are a core element of our safety promotion efforts,” says Gilles Bruniaux, Airbus Helicopters Vice President Aviation Safety. “Both our customers and local authorities have expressed their appreciation of the positive change they can generate.”
The signing of this contract puts the focus on the value of Airbus helicopters’ roadshow programme, which is being co-branded as an EASA initiative in the concerned countries. The program includes cost coverage for the performed road shows by European funds. In addition, the EASA is providing valuable assistance in the form of letters of introduction to local authorities. “We currently have a mandate for 100 days of work,” explains Thomas Gogel, Aviation Safety Network director at Airbus Helicopters. The project’s kick-off meeting, attended by the EASA’s local representative, Frank Manuhutu, and NTU’s contract manager, Emina Kapetanovic, took place in Singapore on 15 and 16 May; the first safety roadshow of the project took place in Bhutan on 17 May. Additional safety roadshows are scheduled in Nepal (August), India (June to the end of September) and the Maldives (November).
“We have already started discussions with the EASA to extend our action both to other countries and to training activities in 2018,” continues Alexandre Maugé, Aviation Safety Network coordinator at Airbus Helicopters. “Such training would be given by our centre based in Singapore and could cover setting up an SMS (Safety Management System), and increasing the knowledge of rotary wing technologies."