The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), a worldwide organization leading a multi-year effort to reduce the civil helicopter accident rate, has reached a tentative agreement of cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to enhance the safety of helicopter operations. The Commonwealth of Independent States includes the countries of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
With this accord, the IHST and the CIS will establish closer cooperation in the field of helicopter safety, share best operational practices, and engage in collaborative activities to improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of helicopter operations around the world.
“The IHST and the CIS team that will join us share a common objective to reduce accidents and strengthen all aspects of helicopter operations,” says Kim Smith, IHST Co-Chair and Manager of the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate. “We welcome them and the expertise they will bring to support our mission to reduce the international civil helicopter accident rate.”
The IHST-CIS agreement (to be signed later this month) includes the following areas of cooperation:
- Exchanging information and best practices on topics of mutual interest in the field of helicopter operation safety;
- Identifying opportunities for collaboration on joint helicopter safety projects and related initiatives;
- Inviting each other to participate in or observe meetings and other activities of mutual interest;
- Consulting and coordinating on topics of mutual interest prior to major international helicopter meetings and events.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was formed to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to address factors that were affecting an unacceptable helicopter accident rate.
The group’s mission is to reduce the international civil helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016.
This effort is co-chaired by a government member (the FAA) and by an industry member. Major industry participants include AgustaWestland, the American Helicopter Society International, Bell Helicopter, Bristow Helicopter Ltd, CHC helicopter, Eurocopter, the Flight Safety Foundation, the Helicopter Association of Canada, the Helicopter Association International, Shell Aircraft, and Sikorsky Helicopter.
IHST members also establish international partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and work to encourage the overseas industries to carry out accident analysis and develop safety interventions. Worldwide partners now supporting the work of the IHST include government and industry participants from the following countries:
Armenia Ireland Qatar Australia Italy Romania Azerbaijan Japan Russia Belarus Kazakhstan Saudi Arabia Brazil Kuwait Slovania Canada Kyrgyzstan Spain Denmark Latvia Switzerland Finland Liechtenstein Tajikistan France Moldova United Arab Emirates Germany Netherlands United Kingdom Hungary Norway United States Iceland Oman Uzbekistan India Poland Turkmenistan Ukraine