By David Learmount in New Delhi

The US Helicopter Association International (HAI) will launch on 1 July its database of world helicopter resources for use in the event of major natural disasters.

HAI president Matt Zuccaro says creation of the database is his organisation’s response to the lack of a US government plan for co-ordinating emergency resources, as evidenced following Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on the southern coast of the USA.

The database, to be hosted on the HAI’s own server, will hold details of the fleet and skilled human resources of any helicopter operator willing to be listed. Individuals like pilots, mechanics and dispatchers can be entered, Zuccaro told the International Helicopter Safety Team Regional Seminar in New Delhi, India last week. He added that, now its launch is approaching, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security are “taking a lot of interest” in the resource, but he said the HAI was “not prepared to wait for the government to do something”.

Zuccaro said that he expects users of the register will mostly want to know what resources would be available to a disaster site and how quickly they could get there.

He said the database will already provide the answer to those questions, and that more capabilities will be provided in the light of experience.

Most of the HAI membership is signing up to the register, said Zuccaro, and non-members are showing an interest.

Source: Flight International