HAI President Applauds New Technology
After a somewhat
controversial and contentious test program in Alaska, ADS-B will
soon be on the glass in the Gulf of Mexico.
That's the word from the Joint Resource Council of the FAA,
which has approved investment and funding for implementing the
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system in the Gulf of
Mexico. The decision was made last Wednesday... and was met with
immediate approval by Helicopter Association International
president Matt Zuccaro.
"The need for accurate weather, direct communications, and
surveillance capabilities has never been greater to support the
650-plus helicopters flying offshore," said Zuccaro.
Zuccaro added he's been waiting for the FAA to authorize the
system for several years.
HAI has worked to bring the next-generation traffic control
system -- which transmits and receives a real-time signal giving an
equipped aircraft's altitude, speed, direction, destination, size
and type from airplane to airplane, and from airplane to traffic
controllers -- to pilots of the approximately 650 Gulf Coast
helicopters that operate from offshore oil platforms.
"I believe that due to
the very nature of helicopter operations, which involve low
altitude, off-airport, remote location, all-weather situations, our
segment of the aviation community stands to reap the greatest
rewards from the ADS-B technology, said Zuccaro (right).
"Accordingly, HAI will be exploring the potential for ADS-B
benefits to other segments of our industry, such as helicopter
emergency medical services, corporate, utility operations, and
In order to speed up the deployment of ADS-B in the area, the
helicopter industry and platform operators will provide space on
the appropriate offshore platforms for the installation of the
ADS-B equipment, as well as helicopter transport of the required
personnel to install and maintain the equipment.
It is estimated that the in-kind value of services to be
provided by the helicopter industry is in excess of $100