Van Nuys, CA. – A Helicopter Safety Symposium was held on Wednesday, January 18th to discuss the issues of helicopter safety and operations at the Los Angeles area airports. The program was offered by the FAA?s Safety Program and the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA-an affiliate of HAI). Jim Dunn?s Airtel Plaza Hotel was a natural for the gathering because the hotel offers aircraft tie-downs. Mr. Dunn, a pilot with a helicopter rating, and his Airtel staff, graciously hosted the program in the interest of aviation safety, and community relations. VNY and LGB FAA Safety Program managers worked with PHPA?s President Robert Butler, and CalTrans? Aviation Safety Officer Kurt Haukohl, to bring the helicopter pilots together with Airport Managers, Tower ATC Specialists, and an assortment of airport users. The program addressed the issues of the busy LA area airspace, which included safety, airport noise, and mixing airplane and helicopter operations at metropolitan area airports. The symposium was created in part because many of the basin?s airports have established restrictions varying from direct prohibitions to complicated legal agreements designed to direct helicopter training away from their airfields.
The all-day program covered several subjects ranging from heliport markings, and charting changes, to presentations from airport staffs of LAX and VNY; the Army Facility at Los Alamitos, and the non-towered airport at Compton. One of the ending comments from the audience was: ?Let?s do this every year.?
| Jack Kenton
VP Region 4
California Pilots Association