‘Russian Hour’ highlights  importance of Russian aerial firefighting experience

Helicopter Industry Association Press Release | September 6, 2016

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 29 seconds.

On Sept. 5, 2016, in the city of Adelaide, Australia, at the Aerial Firefighting Asia Pacific international exhibition and conference, the “Russian Hour” was held.

This is a traditional event focused on giving deeper insight into the Russian helicopter industry for the international community. This year’s Russian Hour topic was the “Russian experience in aerial firefighting with helicopters.”

It helped to draw attention of the world’s professionals to the unique experience gained by Russian aerial firefighting specialists.

The Aerial Firefighting Asia Pacific international exhibition and conference gathered a representative list of reputable international companies from 12 countries, which are actively involved in the joint aerial firefighting effort.

The event was attended by representatives of various countries and institutions, among them: Greg Nettleton, chief officer, SA Country Fire Service; Peter Malinauskas MLC, minister for emergency services, Government of South Australia; and Larisa Vakulina, honorary consul of the Russian Federation to South Australia.

The conference presented the latest developments and innovative designs in aerial firefighting technologies. During the first day of the event topical presentations were made, for example relating to aerial firefighting with helicopters and airplanes, about regional climate change research, reports on the practices of inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral cooperation in aerial firefighting, plans to develop common international framework, as well as reports of regional specialists.

This year the Russian Hour has shown the most representative group of delegates, including heads of the Russian Aerial Forest Fire Center “Avialesookhrana,” PANH Helicopters and Avialift-Vladivostok. Russian Helicopters was represented by the Helicopter Industry Association.

Deputy head of Avialesookhrana Andrei Eritsov presented a report on the “Development of aerial firefighting technologies using helicopters in Russia.”

Thanks to its profound experience, Avialesookhrana serves an authoritative expert of the forest fire control, which is a truly global issue that requires intensive international cooperation. Eritsov showcased to the Russian Hour visitors an impressive achievements of Avialesookhrana, which controls about 1.145 million hectares of Russian forests, more than 500,000 of which require regular aerial surveillance.

According to Eritsov, compared with the statistics of the last century the number of flight hours of Avialesookhrana aircraft, though growing, is significantly lower than previous numbers, but without losing efficiency.

To achieve a result like this Avialesookhrana uses advanced system of multitasked intelligence and surveillance of the areas with high fire danger which allows to detect fires in the early stages and to prevent them from spreading.

In addition, Avialesookhrana is the driver of inter-agency cooperation, opening access to its regional fire management plan and map with terrain mapping and water resources for all those involved in aerial firefighting from different departments. The conference’s visitors were united in their opinion that such an interaction is crucial in the aerial forest protection.

Avialesookhrana’s fleet comprises of variety of helicopters, including Mi-2, Mi-8/17,  Ka-32A11BC, Mi-26T, as well as Robinson R44 and R66. The Avialesookhrana’s helicopters are equipped with the most efficient firefighting equipment, such as VSU-5A  buckets and advanced chemicals.

PANH Helicopters CEO Andrey Kozlovskiy introduced the participants to the conference to his report on the “Highlights of Russian helicopters operations in firefighting missions.”

PANH Helicopters acts not only as a helicopter operator around the globe, but as a credible developer of helicopter equipment and application techniques. Thus, the PANH Helicopters’ experience and knowledge is of great importance to the global aerial firefighting community.

Since 1996, PANH Helicopters has offered its services internationally, and Kozlovskiy reported on the high efficiency of the company’s service base in Cyprus, which allows to quickly deploy helicopters to the several regions with a high degree of fire danger.

The participants noted the high importance of such operational outposts to help quickly send helicopters to fight fires in early stages. The PANH Helicopters fleet consists mostly of Ka-32 type rotorcraft.

In the conclusion of the Russian Hour, Igor Korotkin, representative of the Helicopter Industry Association and acting on behalf of the Russian Helicopters, introduced the guests of the event with a presentation on the “History of helicopter use for firefighting.”

Russia has accumulated a vast experience in both development and use of the innovative helicopter technologies for aerial firefighting. This experience may serve as an important technological basis not only for Russia but also for the international helicopter industry. At the conclusion of the event, Korotkin reported on the Ka-32A11BC features, one of the most successful Russian firefighting helicopters which is deployed in more than 30 countries.

Reports of the Russian Hour speakers have met great feedback and interest from the conference’s participants. The event showed that the unique experience of the Russian firefighting professionals coupled with the talented and unparalleled technical innovations in helicopter and equipment engineering can play an important role in the global firefighting effort, which helps to bring different countries to an effective cooperation despite any political issues.

The Aerial Firefighting Asia Pacific international exhibition and conference is organized by Tangent Link. The organizer of the Russian Hour is the Helicopter Industry Association, with Russian Helicopters as the general sponsor.

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