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Friday, August 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Group Aims to Speak For Pilots, Mechanics

SERVICES

The idea for the non-profit, non-union Helicopter Engineers and Pilots Assn, Canada (HEPAC) "has been fermenting for the past few years," said Interim President Lee Johnson.

A core of volunteers has been advocating the creation of a group that represents both pilots and maintenance engineers. Transport Canada is gearing up to transform from a regulatory auditor into a system evaluator and move the responsibility of safety oversight from the government to the individual operators. That demands that pilots and maintenance teams come together and "be active participants in the development of the industry" said Johnson.

"We have to deal with the implementation of various policies and procedures," he said. "We can either sit back and let others make decisions for us, or we can take a lead and help shape those decisions."

Membership in HEPAC, which was formed less than a year ago, is reaching 100 members. The volunteer membership will form a think-tank forum where members’ goals and needs can be discussed and acted upon with the support of HEPAC’s membership. Later this year, members are to vote for an official board of directors.

Can anybody join? "We are in the drafting phase of the bylaws, but so far we have accepted international pilots working in Canada, since they also have a vested interest in the Canadian helicopter industry," said Johnson. For further information, visit www.hepac.org.

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