Portland, ME (September 14, 2010) - On August 30-31, 2010, the Infrastructure Work Group (IWG) of the Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (JHSIT) met in Portland, Maine. The IWG was joined by a number of FAA, suppliers, contractors, vendors, and Part 135 Operators to discuss improving aviation infrastructure including weather reporting, helipads, low level instrument flight systems, and the recommendations identified through two years of work addressing low level infrastructure.
The IWG was formed in January 2008 in response to the December 2007 release of the first U.S. JHSAT report. Chaired by Thomas Judge of LifeFlight of Maine, the IWG is composed of volunteer industry professionals working to address infrastructure issues affecting all helicopter mission sectors. The five areas of concentration are:
• Weather Reporting and Availability
• Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA)
• Instrument Flight Rules
• Required Information Sharing
In addition to monthly conference calls, the group has produced a White Paper on improving availability of weather information for pilots, and developed a Preliminary Safety Enhancement Plan (PSEP) for each concentration. Submitted during the summer of 2009 to the JHSAT for initial review and consideration, the safety plans and future actions were the subject of discussion in Portland.
New areas identified for consideration include avionics, disseminating FODAMs, next generation air traffic control, and performance based navigation.
The IWG will continue its work over the next few months with a full report presented at HAI’s HELI-EXPO 2011 in Orlando, Florida.
The IHST’s goal is to reduce accidents by 80 percent over the next 10 years.