Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:24 pm Post subject: Helitech 2010 - another organiser's announcement
Aerial firefighting – from theory to practice
The devastating effects of forest fires hit the headlines across Europe each year. This year Russia, Spain and Northern Portugal have suffered some of the worst incidents. In all cases each country needed to be ready to deploy firefighting teams as soon as the emergency calls came in. Preparing for this requires national, legal and industry participation to set up response teams. Navigating from contract tendering through to operations is one of four key sessions being discussed at the Helitech Conference, which takes place at Airport Cascais in Portugal on 5th and 6th October during the three-day exhibition.
This session takes place at 13.30pm on Wednesday 6th with Duncan Trapp, Communications Sub-Group Leader for the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), opening the discussion with a focus on lessons that have been learned within the tendering process and how to ensure these are effectively communicated to the wider helicopter community.
Also taking to the floor will be Carlos Santos, from Empresa de Meios Aéreos (EMA); Mr Santos will be talking about how EMA works for Portugal’s Ministry of Interior to provide firefighting capabilities for the nation. Mr Santos’ presentation will offer a valuable insight into handling the aerial firefighting contract tendering process from the initial development phase through to the execution of the contract covering technical, legal, commercial, cost-efficiency and safety aspects.
The Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection (ANPC) will also be participating in the conference session. The ANPC plays a primary role in the planning, coordination and implementation of Portugal’s Civil Protection policy. Its remit includes areas such as forecasting and risk management, emergency planning, protection and rescue as well as firefighting services. Luis Neto, from ANPC, will give an overview of all the aerial firefighting processes used by the organisation including the deployment of air support in firefighting operations.
Rounding up the session, Juan Cumplido from INEAR will discuss regulation, training and how to look for the best helicopter for a firefighting role, while José Pereira from Helibravo will talk about the tendering process from an operator’s perspective. Delegates will then be able to watch an aerial firefighting demonstration, organised by Helibravo, outside the exhibition hall on the airport’s runway.
Helibravo will field two AS350s – a B3 and a B2 version – to help extinguish the fire while the ANPC is providing a team of 10 fully trained 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.
“The ability to fight forest fires quickly and comprehensively is so important for Southern European nations. We were very keen this year to be able to have the theory behind the aerial firefighting contract tendering process detailed in our conference and then to follow through with equipment on the exhibition floor and a live demonstration outside so the visitors can see all aspects of this important topic,” says Sue Bradshaw, Helitech’s Exhibition Director.
*Aerial firefighting demonstrations will take place at 16.30pm on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th October.
The Mayor of Cascais will officially open Helitech’s second exhibition in Portugal, which takes place next week from 5th to 7th October at Airport Cascais, near Estoril. Mr António d’Orey Capucho, the Mayor of Cascais, visited the event when it was first held in Portugal in 2008.
The Mayor is expected to tour some of the exhibition stands as well as the static display area which will feature up to 14 helicopters of various types. Heliportugal will be displaying four aircraft – an AgustaWestland AW139, a Eurocopter AW350B3 and Eurocopter Dauphin as well as a Kamov. Helibravo is bringing two Eurocopter variants as well as a Robinson R44. A Bell 412 and AgustaWestland AW101 will also be on show.
There are 134 exhibiting companies attending this year’s event including major industry players such as AgustaWestland and Eurocopter. A wide variety of countries are represented at the show; Russian Helicopters is attending to promote the renowned Kamov Ka-32A11BC helicopter, whose unique coaxial rotors are so well suited to the challenges of aerial firefighting particularly in mountainous terrain. From Denmark, Scandinavian Avionics will be demonstrating the latest Sandel flight display system for helicopter pilots.
Mr António d’Orey Capucho, said: “I am delighted that Helitech 2010 has chosen, once again, Cascais as its destination. Helicopters provide a number of vital services to our local community. Whether they are used for passenger transport, aerial firefighting or the emergency services they are an essential part of our everyday lives. Helitech is an ideal opportunity for the helicopter industry to learn about some of the latest equipment and services that are available today and Airport Cascais offers the perfect venue for the event.”
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