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Magazine Helicopter Industry #102

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HELICOPTER INDUSTRY I

HELICOPTER INDUSTRY I INTERVIEW I T he Russian Helicopters holding, partner of around 100 countries all over the world operating civilian and military Russian manufactured helicopters, saw its industrial activity maintained throughout the health crisis. Mr. Andrey Boginsky, Russian Helicopters CEO, answers a few question from Helicopter Industry. Are the Russian Helicopters industrial/production and selling activities affected by the governmental measures? If so, how far and on which particular points? Taking into account our obligations within the state defense order and military and technical cooperation we did not stop the manufacturing process. Starting from mid-April, up to 70% of our staff were involved, depending on the instructions of local authorities and epidemiological situation in a region, and by now, we have returned to a regular working schedule. At the same time, working conditions meet all the requirements of the Ministry of Health and other regulatory authorities. We provided all employees with personal protective equipment, their condition is regularly monitored, and workplaces undergo regular disinfection, as maintaining health of our staff is one of the top priorities for Russian Helicopters at this difficult time. Moreover, we aim to maintain a high level of business activity, retaining contact with our civilian partners, and that it proved to be successful: during the pandemic, several Mi-8 and Ansat helicopters have already been handed over to customers. How many civilian and military Russian Helicopters customers/operators worldwide are potentially affected by the crisis? Through what missions are Russian Helicopters rotary wing aircrafts most involved during this health crisis? All countries have been affected by the pandemic to a greater or lesser degree, including over 100 countries that use Russian-made helicopters. Due to restrictions, the total volume of operations has certainly been reduced. However, some specialized helicopters, such as those for EMS missions, are much sought-after now: we see that in Russia and in other countries which are actively developing air medical services. HI I 64

Was Russian Helicopters approached by those operators to answer their questions, especially in terms of special cockpit and cabin design? Did Russian Helicopters design new equipment and develop original procedures the benefit of its customers? Our Ansat and Mi-8 helicopters are widely used during the pandemic in many countries that fight COVID-19. For instance, Mi-171 helicopters were used in Wuhan for delivery of supplies and medicine, and Indian Air Force Mi- 17V-5 performed same missions in Himalayas. Our Mi-8 and Ansat in EMS configuration are equipped with ventilators that allow transporting patients with COVID-19, which they do all over Russia, especially in central and southern regions of the country that faced a difficult epidemiological situation. Still, we understand that coronavirus pandemic certainly lays down new requirements for medical helicopter equipment, and the holding company is working in that field. For instance, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency approved the installation of an isolation module for patients with infectious diseases in Ansat helicopter, which is currently one of the main helicopters used for air medical services in Russia: about 30 such helicopters have been supplied, and they are being operated in more than 10 regions of Russia. This unit will not require redesign of the cabin, therefore, all previously supplied Ansat helicopters in the medical version can be equipped with it. The module will significantly improve efficiency of EMS-missions, which now require additional crew protection and disinfection measures. Do Russian Helicopters approved maintenance centers worldwide operate normally during this period? Do they operate at a normal activity level, or at an increased or decreased activity level? The service centers of Russian Helicopters are functioning in accordance with regulations of local authorities and following all instructions and restrictions. The epidemiological situation varies depending on a region. Therefore, in some places a rotating work schedule is possible, while in other countries all work has been suspended. HI I 65