KUALA LUMPUR: All foreign-owned helicopters hired by local companies should adhere to the Aviation Regulations 2016 under the Civil Aviation Act 1969, said Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
He said there were several new regulations effective April 15 requiring the compliance of airline companies using aircraft owned by foreign companies apart from hiring qualified foreign pilots.
“Similarly, local companies which hire helicopters and pilots from other countries should also abide by the conditions and guidelines set by DCA.
“During the Sarawak state election, there were applications for short-term rental of helicopters, in which the flight company was also directed to adhere to our guidelines,” he said yesterday.
Azharuddin said all local flight companies with helicopter services knew about the regulations they had to comply with before hiring any helicopters or pilots.
Commenting on helicopter flight operations in the country, especially in Sarawak, Azharuddin said DCA monitored all aircraft departures and landings.
“Nonetheless, there are ‘blind spots’ in which contact could not be made due to geological factors and in these situations, pilots are unable to communicate with the control tower,” he said.
On May 5, a Eurocopter AS350 managed by a local helicopter company was carrying five passengers and the pilot when it crashed near Sebuyau at 4.12pm, moments after taking off from Betong to Kuching.
The victims killed in the crash were Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon and her husband Asmuni Abdullah, Noriah’s bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai and Filipino pilot, Captain Rudolf Rex Ragas.
On April 15, 2015, a Eurocopter AS365N3 (9M-IGB) crashed near Kampung Sungai Pening Pening in Semenyih, Selangor.
The tragedy took the lives of Rompin MP Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis as well as the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, pilot Captain Clifford William Fournier, operations assistant Aidana Baizieva, bodyguard Razakan Seran and businessman Datuk Tan Huat Seang. — Bernama