Working together, we’re advancing the VTOL industry’s sustainability, safety, and efficiency.
At the end of this year, my term as chairman of the European Helicopter Association (EHA) will end. My successor as chairman and technical director, Christian Müller, nominated by the Swiss Helicopter Association, will start his mandate on Jan. 1, 2022.
Having been a member of the helicopter community for more than 44 years in the roles of pilot, flight instructor, examiner, managing director, and more, it was an honor to serve as EHA chairman. I’m grateful I was able to give back to the helicopter community through my work at EHA over the past 16 years and especially during my time as chairman for the past 3 years.
Thanks to the EHA team’s exceptional work, the association has thrived despite all the challenges the rotorcraft industry has faced in recent years. With the establishment of the EUROPEAN ROTORS VTOL Show and Safety Conference in 2021, there’s now an annual European platform available for the entire VTOL industry, including operators and their personnel, OEMs, service providers, suppliers, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This event provides participants with a place to exchange experiences, promote technical and regulatory innovations, and develop new business on an international level.
Close cooperation with our colleagues at EASA and HAI will improve EHA’s ability to prepare our members, and the VTOL industry at large, to meet tomorrow’s challenges. EHA is proud to have found in HAI a partner with whom to accomplish this work in Europe and worldwide.
Some of those future challenges will be front and center for the rotorcraft industry next year. There’s probably no one in the helicopter business who hasn’t been involved in discussions recently about urban air mobility, advanced air mobility, eVTOLs, and unmanned aircraft systems. These spaces will definitely change the vertical lift market, and operators need to be prepared to accommodate them. It is my firm conviction that these new technologies will also open business opportunities to experienced helicopter operators. After all, who else has the expertise to operate aircraft safely in the lower airspace in urban environments?
Another important topic for 2022 is the protection of our planet. I believe we can agree we all need to contribute to reducing atmosphere-destroying emissions, in all areas of our lives, including the operation of our aircraft. Therefore, EHA regularly follows new developments and research projects from engine and airframe manufacturers, fuel suppliers, and operators that already participate in tests to use sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) to make VTOL operations greener.
As part of its sustainability efforts, EHA plans to participate in the new Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuels Value Chain Industrial Alliance, with a particular focus on aviation. The alliance brings together all relevant stakeholders, including the full industrial value chain, public authorities, civil society, and financial institutions, to work to boost the production, distribution, and use of sustainable fuels. The alliance will support the goal of enabling the greater availability and affordability of SAFs to accelerate the decarbonization of aviation. It’s the continual intention of VTOL industry stakeholders to make every effort to develop the industry by improving its safety, efficiency, and sustainability to provide better services to society.
With best wishes for the future of EHA and the entire VTOL industry, I wish you and your families all the best in 2022.
Stay healthy and fly safe!