RFS Aviation Industry Reference Group Meeting #3 Tuesday 11 April
Rob Rogers - Deputy Commissioner RFS
Jason Heffernan - Assistant Commissioner RFS
Viki Campbell - A/Manager Operational Business and Procurement RFS
Richard Alder - NAFC
Phil Hurst - AAAA
Peter Crook - AHIA
Post 2016/2017 Fire Season overview indicated the majority of operators could see a change in communication and cooperation with RFS. At the Operator debrief Wednesday 5 April one operator commented it was “encouraging” to experience the increased level communication with and from RFS.
The post season debrief attracted around 70 attendees which included 28 operators, fuel providers, RFS personnel, NAFC, AAAA and AHIA. The meeting included presentations on the fire season with operational statistics, a presentation by NAFC on the operation of ARENA and a forum which include the Deputy Commissioner answering difficult questions “head on” which was respected by the meeting.
As a result of the AIRG meeting, 11 April, the following actions were agreed to,
Communique #3 to be released shortly will include,
• Overview of the post 2016/2017 debrief
• Copies of presentations made at the debrief
Communique #4 which is being prepared
• Explanation of Wet A and Wet B hire rates
• Proposed transition, industry feedback is requested, via the Associations
Over the next few months RFS will be meeting with fuel providers to establish “fair and reasonable” procedures for the positioning of fuel trucks during the fire season. Again if you have any suggestions on how this may be implemented, please forward to us.
RFS will provide the Associations with a review on the implementation progress of the Conroy Report recommendations. This will be forwarded to you when received.
RFS will provide the Associations with RFS owned aircraft tasking procedures and protocols. Additionally they will provide a statement regarding any future requirement should a specific capability be identified which cannot be satisfied with current assets. The Deputy Commissioner reiterated, industry would be approached for suggestions/offers for additional specific capability.
A review of current SOP’s is being carried out. Feedback from industry is requested, via the Associations, with what should be included relating to accidents and/or incidents and the possible ranking. For example should the ranking be,
1. Incident, no aircraft damage, no injury……report by operator(s), no grounding
2. Aircraft damage, no injury………………….report by operator, no grounding
3. Aircraft damage plus injury/fatality…………grounding until investigation carried out
These are ideas only and do not reflect any views. Please advise your ideas/suggestions so a fair and reasonable protocol can be established.
At the debrief the issue of “pinging” daily was questioned. Although not a requirement it was suggested a daily “ping” updates the aircraft location and availability making it easier for the SAD. A delay still provides last known location and availability, which may not be current.
There was a suggestion of establishing minimum crewman/winch operator experience and currency. Industry feedback, via AHIA, is urgently sort on this critical question. Please forward your thoughts as soon as possible.
As you can see, a lot was covered in the three hour meeting. Communication and transparency is more evident than before and RFS is committed to ensure it not only continues but improves with time. Your feedback on these and any other issues is requested with all suggestions/ideas/issues being tabled and receiving equal consideration.
RFS does request all submissions be made through the Associations to ensure a dedicated line of communication is maintained.
General stuff that gets thrown about when Helicopter Pilots shoot the Breeze.
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- Silver Wings
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