Helicopter traffic over London has almost halved in last five years


Andrew Haines, CEO of the UK CAA said that helicopter traffic over London has nearly halved since 2007.

Andrew HainesThe chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Andrew Haines has said that helicopter movements over London have almost halved since 2007, despite suggestions to the contrary in the wake of the fatal helicopter crash in Vauxhall. Haines was speaking after receiving an honorary degree from Kingston University, recognising his outstanding contribution to business and entrepreneurship.

It had been reported that some residents and MPs in the local area expressed concerns about the levels of helicopter flights before the crash which killed the pilot and a passer-by on the street. However, the official figures show traffic is down some 46 per cent compared with 2007.

“Contrary to some recent suggestions, the number of helicopter movements in Greater London has actually decreased in recent years – falling from 34,872 in 2007 to 18,937 in 2012,” Haines said. “But all helicopter operations in London are very strictly controlled, ensuring that aircraft operate safely and avoid built up areas as much as possible. In addition to these arrangements, there are strict safety requirements for tall structures that ensure they are equipped with warning lights to enhance their visibility to pilots at night.”

Haines, who was born and brought up in south Wales, initially worked in railways after reading history at King’s College London. Haines applied for the Kingston MBA programme, graduating in 1995, by which time he had joined the newly-formed Railtrack. “I would say that my career really took off following my Kingston MBA in the 1990s,” he said. “The MBA gave me a tool-kit and a confidence which added a new dimension to my work so I am now doubly indebted to the university. “

Professor Jean-Noel Ezingeard, Dean of Kingston Business School, said there were many reasons why Andrew Haines was deserving of an honorary degree. “As a business leader Andrew has made an impressive contribution to the transport sector in the United Kingdom, first in his extensive career in railways and more recently steering the CAA through some challenging situations.”