Alexandria, Va. – On Wed., Oct. 10, 2012, at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of International Affairs, Helicopter Association International (HAI) joined forces with PHI Air Medical Group to host a delegation of 30 Chinese aviation professionals at the Leesburg Executive Airport in Leesburg, Virginia. The Chinese delegates were participants in a four month-long Executive Management Development Training Program organized by the FAA and funded with a grant through the U.S. Trade Development Agency and matching funds from U.S. Aviation companies who participate in the U.S. China Aviation Cooperation Program.
The delegates to this program are all mid- and upper-level managers and rising stars within the Chinese aviation industry and government regulatory establishment. The attendee list included nearly equal numbers of representatives from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and from the aviation industry – educators, airport or airline managers, and operators.
At Leesburg Executive Airport, Dave York, HAI’s vice president of Regulations and International Affairs; and Harold Summers, HAI’s director of Flight Operations and Technical Programs, welcomed the delegates and provided a brief description of HAI – what it is, and what it does – with a focus on HAI’s most recent safety initiatives.
The real star of the show, however, was Ken Coffland, a pilot for PHI’s Air Care-3, who, with the help of a translator, and punctuated with his own patented “Safety Dance,” provided a lively and informative presentation on the way his company conducts medical transport operations in Northern Virginia. He began with an overview of the regulatory differences between Part 91 and Part 135 operations, complimented by the higher standards established for air medical transport through “Operations Specifications” and PHI’s own ambitious safety program, Destination Zero.
Following Coffland’s presentation, the Chinese delegates were treated to a tour of the flight line and an up-close visit with Air Care 3’s duty aircraft, an EC-135.
HAI recognizes the vast potential for helicopters in China, and the opportunities for HAI member companies in that country. As a result, HAI believes that there is real value for the industry in outreach efforts such as this symposium in Leesburg, and fully intends to continue participating in this type of activity at every opportunity.