The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a review of the provision of fire protection at helicopter landing sites. The CAA said it was keen to work with commercial helicopter operators and aerodrome and helipad sites to rationalise the current requirements and standards guidance, and also ensure any subsequent changes to the requirements are appropriate and risk-based.
Currently, the requirements for fire protection at small airfields; licensed aerodromes; temporary helicopter landing areas (e.g. pleasure flying and special events); offshore helidecks; and hospital landing sites are set out in a number of different guidance documents. The CAA’s aim is to harmonise the fire protection requirements for all helicopter operations into one accessible set of guidance material.
The review will also explore how the use of new technology systems can improve fire protection provision at helipads. All helipad arrangements, locations and types of operations will be considered by the review.
Simon Webb, a Technical Specialist at the CAA, said: “The key goal with any aviation fire is to provide rapid detection and control of the incident, to allow occupants time to escape. We are therefore seeking to engage with all those involved in the provision and management of fire protection to provide us with some risk-based options appropriate for their particular operation.”
Supporting the review, CAA Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, said: “Out of this review we want to see an appropriate level of protection for helicopter passengers emerge, one that will assess all potential risks and take account of the availability of new technology for detecting and controlling fires.”
Following the review a full consultation will be held on any proposed changes. For more information or to provide comments to the review, email email@example.com
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The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.