Safety & Training
International collaborative safety program for VTOL industry
By Naomi Szeben
International rotorcraft safety organizations, regional safety teams, and other global safety stakeholders recently established the Vertical Aviation Safety Team (VAST).
In cooperation with the worldwide vertical flight community, VAST aims to achieve a vision of zero fatal accidents, providing “Safety Above All.” In pursuit of that vision, VAST will use a data-informed, consensus-based approach to better coordinate, and implement global safety information, resources, and programs, and to support regional safety efforts.
The international vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) industry includes many groups working to reduce accidents, including regional safety teams, industry safety organizations, businesses and associations with safety components to their missions, as well as the individual operators, pilots, maintenance professionals, and others who work daily to mitigate the inherent risks of aviation. The International Helicopter Safety Team and, later, the International Helicopter Safety Foundation previously represented these global safety stakeholders.
Regional safety teams will continue to lead safety initiatives in their respective areas. The role of VAST is to engage with those teams and other safety stakeholders to integrate, harmonize, distribute, and promote the resulting safety data, programs, and recommendations worldwide, reducing duplicative efforts and enabling more efficient use of resources. Several VAST working groups will oversee the organization’s efforts in areas such as technology, regulations, and safety promotion.
VAST represents the combined voices of the worldwide rotorcraft community. Its operations are overseen by two advisers: James Viola, President and CEO of Helicopter Association International, and Miguel Marin, Chief Operational Safety, at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Their advisory role will help VAST meet its objectives building on industry best practices and the latest international standard developments.