NPA 2019-09

All-weather operations — Helicopters and specialised operations

The objective of this Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) is to increase the safety of helicopter operations by proposing requirements aimed at reducing the number of accidents under visual flight rules (VFR) in marginal weather conditions. It addresses CAT, NCC and SPO operators, and introduces specific approvals that are accessible to NCO operators.

This NPA proposes to address any regulatory obstacles to the development of helicopter flights under instrument flight rules (IFR) with helicopters, paving the way for further design and use of helicopter instrument approaches, helicopter instrument departures, and helicopter low-level routes. It also proposes a first step towards implementing the ‘Weather Information to Pilots Strategic Paper’.

All-weather operations (AWO) usually means any operations that are conducted under IFR with decision heights below 200 ft and visibility below 500 m. Sub-NPA 2018-06(C) ‘All-weather operations’ of 13 July 2018 already proposed to amend the rules and provisions for such operations, meeting the needs of helicopters that operate to runways, with very little need for variations.

This NPA also focuses on flights that are conducted under IFR with higher decision heights and visibilities, to and from landing sites other than runways, in both controlled and uncontrolled obstacle environment, to reflect the capabilities of helicopters and their expected operating conditions.