NEW ENGLAND HELICOPTER COUNCIL SERVING MANY INDUSTRIES—SAVING MORE THAN TIME www.nehc.org
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear NEHC Members, Welcome to spring 2016. The NEHC has been busy working on one of its primary missions, that is, to enhance safety within the helicopter community. Helicopter operators are finishing their winter maintenance projects and are preparing to take advantage of summer flying weather. Similar to the maintenance required on aircraft and ground support equipment, pilots and mechanics need to prepare themselves to be ready for more rigorous flying activity. The NEHC takes an active part in this process. A couple weekends ago, our organization hosted its annual Helicopter Safety Seminar. Many thanks again to JBI Helicopter Services for inviting the helicopter community to use their facility for this event. The article on page 4, written by Fred Bedard, describes our ‘Safety Day’ activities.
During the last weekend in March, we also represented the rotorcraft community at the New England Aviation Safety Expo. The Expo, which is held at the Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire, is an informative one day conference designed to promote safety for general aviation pilots. NEHC is both a sponsor and active participant in this event. This forum is a great place to establish relationships with our fixed wing brethren and to let them know about the many rotorcraft activities that they’re likely to encounter while flying in New England. Both of these events are well worth attending and, if you weren’t able to attend, please consider joining us at next year’s events. I’m pleased to share other good news! As you know, the NEHC has been working diligently to re-establish a public use heliport in Boston, Massachusetts. Our advocacy efforts have been accelerated in no small part because of General Electric Company’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Boston. General Electric has added their full support to the establishment of a full service, public use heliport in Boston. We’re pleased to welcome GE to the NEHC community and look forward to sharing more good news about a Boston heliport in the upcoming months. Have you been keeping up with the tremendous growth in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry? According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s most recent Aerospace Forecast Report, there are currently 2.5 million UAS and the combined total hobbyist and commercial UAS sales are expected to rise to 7 million by the year 2020. The current ratio of UAS to piloted aircraft is about 10:1 and if the forecast is correct, within 4 years, there may be more than 31 UAS’s in the airspace for each manned aircraft. Sharing airspace is already a challenge and, as you may already know, unmanned aerial vehicles are expected to work predominantly in the same airspace most commonly used by helicopters. Please join us at the spring membership meeting to learn more about this rapidly growing segment of the aviation industry Speaking of our spring membership meeting; the meeting date is rapidly approaching. This event also happens to be our annual meeting so the evening will start with a short business discussion followed immediately by our featured presentation. Guest speakers include, Fred Depuy, President and CEO of Media Wing, an advanced UAS technology company. We will also be joined by FAA, Aviation Safety Program (FAASTeam) representatives Stephen K. Brown, the FAASTeam manager for the Greater Boston Area and John Wood, the FAASTeam manager for the Flight Standards District Office in Portland, Maine. Please join us to learn about the UAS industry from the perspective of the UAS industry and the Federal Aviation Administration. We hope you’ll join us at the Tewksbury Country Club on Wednesday, April 13, starting at 6:30 PM. It promises to be a great evening you won’t want to miss!
W. Gregory Harville President