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GfL publishes methodology for determining external risks from helicopter flight operations at airports and helipads

March 2019 | Safety Assessment

The so-called external risk provides information on the potential hazards induced by flight operations resp. aircraft accidents for third parties not involved in air traffic (e.g. residents or employees of the airport environment). In order to determine the external risks caused by accidents with aeroplanes, GfL has been using a mathematical/statistical calculation model for about 20 years now. In the course of continuous developments, the model environment can now also be applied to helicopter flight operations. Here, flight operations take place both over a dedicated helicopter take-off/landing area (Final Approach and Take Off Area, FATO) and over runways (SLB), as is the case at airports without FATO for helicopters. FATOs, on the other hand, are installed at almost every hospital and are therefore particularly common in densely populated inner-city areas. Using the key model parameters of accident ratio, accident location and accident consequence, being parameterised from historical aircraft accidents and constantly updated, individual and group risks can be precisely calculated and compared with permissible limit values for final evaluation.

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Results of risk contours for a fictional FATO with four arrival/departure routes (© GfL mbH)
Results of risk contours for a fictional FATO with four arrival/departure routes (© GfL mbH)