Despite a foggy day at Oxford Airport, we had an interesting pre-EBACE morning. Helicopter Life learnt that movements at Oxford Airport were up in 2017, compared to 2016. This included GA, 40% up, helicopter movements 20% up and contrasted with many of the rival airports, such as Biggin Hill, which was only 7 % up, and Northolt, which was 60% down.
Re EASA – will UK aviation be able to stay in EASA?
Mrs May wants the UK to stay within EASA, however, at the moment the EU has said “UK membership of EASA is not possible.” The reason is that the UK has ruled out jurisdiction under the European Court of Justice. Shows the unexpected side-effects of rulings in a political sphere.
We heard from a helicopter charter on-line booking company, FLYT, the brain child of Andy King, with support from James Palmer. As well as making it possible for members of the public to book helicopter operators on-line, FLYT is looking to the future. Andy envisages a time when you will use his booking platform for taking your electric hybrid aircraft from vertiport to vertiport or further in 10 to 15 years time.
On a more present day elevation, Airbus have stopped making the AS355 twin helicopter. When this was questioned by operators, who loved using the reliable machine, Airbus’s Fred Lemos, Commercial Director, explained that the EC135 although bigger, actually has lower running costs than the AS355, and hence Airbus had decided to move with the newer technology and end manufacturing the older machine.
For more on this see the Summer 2018 issue of Helicopter Life magazine, out in July.