Helitech’s first ever live aerial firefighting demonstrations to take place in Portugal
Helitech 2008 has announced that it will hold its first ever live firefighting displays onsite at the exhibition venue – Airport Cascais in Portugal.
The event will take place at the end of a summer in which southern Europe is once again being blighted by forest fires. The most recent, on the Greek island of Rhodes, raged for six days before being brought under control. More than 5,000 hectares of forest and scrub were burned, along with large areas of vineyards and firefighting resources were stretched to the limit.
Last year extreme and intense heatwaves affected Greece for much of the summer with temperatures exceeding 45C (113F) in some parts. Forest fires claimed the lives of 77 people and more than 300,000 hectares of forests, olive groves and orchards were destroyed. If, as many experts say, the world is entering a new climatic era, then firefighters will face unprecedented challenges. This will in turn demand the types of new technologies on show at Helitech 2008.
In recognition of the importance of visitors to the show being able to see the latest firefighting techniques in action, the airport authority at Cascais has kindly agreed to temporarily stop all commercial flying in and out of the airport on the first two afternoons to allow the displays to take place.
Timings for the displays are currently scheduled for 17:00 hours on Tuesday 14 and 15:30 on Wednesday 15 October. Both displays are being organised and staged by Helibravo. Helibravo is headquartered at Cascais, where it operates a fleet of 14 helicopters that undertakes services such as aerial firefighting, freight transportation, external load and aerial photography. The company also runs the first pilot school in the Iberian Peninsula – exclusively dedicated to training private and commercial helicopter pilots, with the P/FTO/0603 certification. It is the only pilot school in the world to be equipped with an FNPT1 simulator for Robinson 44 aircraft in partnership with Empordef.
Helitech’s Exhibition Director Sue Bradshaw says: ‘To gain agreement for an aerial firefighting display at a working airport is a real coup for Helitech. It sets us apart from other European helicopter events, which are unable to offer similar live displays, and means visitors will be able to see some of the industry’s latest firefighting technologies in action at the same venue as the exhibition.’
Aerial firefighting is also the subject of a one-day conference being held on the first day of the show at Hotel Quinta da Marinha in Estoril. Organised by The Shephard Group, the conference will cover helicopter firefighting technology and techniques.
Helitech takes place from 14th-16th October 2008. The venue is Cascais, Portugal, an airport that offers excellent access for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Helitech 2008 brings together the Southern European helicopter community in one single event reflecting the market demand, whilst also providing a showcase arena for the latest products, services and technology to reach key markets such as aerial firefighting. Helitech 2008 is supported by the European Helicopter Association and the British Helicopter Advisory Board.
Fighting fire from the air – a visual spectacle for Helitech visitors
As the aerial firefighting season in Europe comes to a close, Portuguese helicopter operator Helibravo has arranged for two of its helicopter fleet to demonstrate their firefighting capabilities during Helitech, which takes place from 14 to 16 October.
Helibravo has teamed up with Airport Cascais, the local fire department and the Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection (ANPC), to create a live firefighting scenario at the airport. The ANPC plays a primary role in the planning, coordination and implementation of Portugal’s Civil Protection policy. The ANPC is a central government service that pursues activities such as forecasting and risk management, emergency planning, protection and rescue as well as firefighting services.
The airport authority at Cascais has agreed to temporarily stop all commercial flying in and out of the airport on the first two afternoons of the exhibition to allow these events to take place. Timings for the displays are 17:00 hours on Tuesday 14 and 15:30 on Wednesday 15 October.
Trained firefighting experts will set fire to piles of scrub and shrubbery out on the runway while Helibravo will be fielding two AS350s – a B3 and B2 version – to expertly quell the conflagration.
The ANPC is providing a team of 10 firemen to work on board the helicopters demonstrating, in as authentic a way as possible, how they work together to put out dangerous forest fires. Two fire brigade teams will also be working on the ground.
One of the helicopters will be fitted with a Bambi bucket and the other will have an Isolair Kit. The bucket will be filled from a temporary swimming pool, provided by the local fire department, and set up near the airfield.
More than 105 exhibitors from 18 different countries have now signed up to attend the first edition of Helitech to take place in Portugal.
Helitech 2008 is supported by the European Helicopter Association and the British Helicopter Advisory Board.
Helibravo has its headquarters at Airport Cascais, where it operates a fleet of 14 helicopters that undertakes services such as aerial firefighting, freight transportation, external load and aerial photography. The company also runs the first pilot school in the Iberian Peninsula – exclusively dedicated to training private and commercial helicopter pilots, with the P/FTO/0603 certification. It is the only pilot school in the world to be equipped with an FNPT1 simulator for Robinson 44 aircraft in partnership with Empordef.
Helitech 2008 wins over the southern European helicopter market
Helitech’s first outing to Portugal has been well received by both exhibitors and visitors. More than 1,350 (pre ABC audit) people attended the three-day event which took place from 14-16 October at Airport Cascais near Estoril. There were 108 exhibiting companies from 18 different countries displaying a range of helicopter orientated equipment, technology and services.
The show received a number of VIP visitors from the region including the Mayor of Cascais, the President of Portugal’s Civil Aviation Authority and a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development from the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha.
The two aerial firefighting demonstrations drew the crowds and meant that Helibravo, in conjunction with the Autoridade Nacional de Protecçao Civil (ANPC), could showcase its firefighting capabilities. The audience was also able to see the first public demonstration in Europe of Simplex Manufacturing’s FAST Bucket.
In the static display area, 13 helicopters were on view to visitors. They included a Kamov KA/32 A11BC, configured for firefighting, as well as a Eurocopter AS/350 B3.
Helitech’s Exhibition Director, Sue Bradshaw, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted with the response to our first time in Portugal. The support we have received from the aerodrome here at Cascais as well as the local authorities has been fantastic. Feedback so far from exhibitors and visitors demonstrates that the location is popular – and we know that strong sales have been reported and many contracts signed.’
For more information about Helitech 2009, which takes place at Duxford, near Cambridge from 22 to 24 September 2009, please visit: www.helitech.co.uk or contact Sue Bradshaw, Exhibition Director, Tel: +44 (0) 208 439 8886 or email: email@example.com
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