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Editorial: January-February 2015

It’s that time of year again – a time to evaluate all the things we were going to achieve over the past 365 days, realize that we haven’t achieved any of them (or maybe just a select few), and boldly commit to a list of New Year’s resolutions that we can absolutely try to achieve in the year ahead.


It’s that time of year again – a time to evaluate all the things we were going to achieve over the past 365 days, realize that we haven’t achieved any of them (or maybe just a select few), and boldly commit to a list of New Year’s resolutions that we can absolutely try to achieve in the year ahead.

Some of you probably don’t take part in this annual self-evaluation (self loathing?) process, but I think it’s a wonderful exercise. It’s a great opportunity to quickly take stock of what is working in our worlds, assess what needs amending and figure out what strategies and goals we need to set in order to make it all happen.

A study from Franklin Covey noted that 80 per cent of resolutions never come to fruition, but there is a much greater chance of success if five key rules are followed: set realistic goals; make sure they are specific; walk before you run; make sure the goals are public; and visual your ultimate success. Sounds simple right?

Applying this to the Canadian helicopter industry, I thought it might be fun to come up with my own very short (and hopefully perfectly attainable) list of resolutions for the New Year that just might make things more palatable for the industry as a whole in 2015.

 Unite to fight proposed flight and duty time amendments. – If there’s one issue on the horizon that has the potential to cripple the economic fortunes of Canadian helicopter operators, this has to be it. Fred Jones, president and CEO of the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC), is leading the charge on this sensitive issue, and has worked tirelessly over the past two years (along with a select number of Canadian operators) as part of the Flight Crew Management Working Group to ensure the needs of helicopter operators are met. What has been proposed in the Notice of Proposed amendments (NPAs), however, is highly limiting for the helicopter industry and is clearly aimed at fulfilling the needs of the commercial airline industry. With a federal election looming, the time is now for industry to unite – and that means all affected operators – to ensure the blades keep turning.

Join forces in the spirit of safety. – Enhancing safety and quality in all operational and manufacturing processes is bandied about ad nauseam by not only columnists of this and other industry magazines but in virtually every session at helicopter conferences across the globe. Why? It’s the No. 1 issue facing the global helicopter industry. It’s also the responsibility of all industry players to work to achieve the highest safety standards possible. Why not make your personal resolution to evaluate your own safety commitment and see how you can make it better – not only for your organization’s sake but for that of the industry as a whole.

Play in the sandbox fairly – and safely. – In a competitive marketplace, its not unusual to see operators cutting rates to win contracts, often to the point of seriously compromising competitors – and safety as well. Does such behaviour really help your organization in the long run? Are taking such extreme chances worth the potential hazards for both you and the industry as a whole? The answers of course are no, so here’s hoping all operators compete fairly and honourably in the months ahead.

Keep refining new policies to create a more cohesive playing field. – When Transport Canada announced new regulations for UAV and UAS use in Canada this past November, it sent a clear message that the country’s regulating body, though under scrutiny for many other issues, is at least taking a leadership role in this realm. Such commitment is paramount in this rapidly evolving part of the aviation landscape and hopefully will continue.

So, there you have, some clear, concise and, for the most part, attainable resolutions for the Canadian helicopter industry in 2015. All the best for a safe and prosperous year.

• • •

Helicopters has added a new columnist to the fold. Corey Taylor, VP, Global Business and Product Development for Great Slave Helicopters, is a passionate safety advocate for the Canadian helicopter industry and an active participant at many national and international events. His inaugural column can be found on page 10. We would also like to thank columnist Michael Bellamy for his contributions over the years. The recently retired Bellamy was also a strong advocate for safety and quality control – his contributions will be missed.


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