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In 1987 after much rending of hair and gnashing of teeth by the helicopter establishment, deregulation occurred. The purpose of tarriffs was to force operators charged sufficiently for their machinery to ensure that the costs of operation could be properly met and that the welfare of the helicopter using public would be assured. There are still a few places in Europe where this practice is extant.


It is horrific to hear stories of machinery selling for such low rates. Use of the word 'irresponsible' to describe this practice has such a drastic effect on the blood pressure of some that it will not be employed. The anecdote is that a few years ago the members of HAC agreed amongst themselves to raise the rates. This agreement apparently lasted until the meeting was over.


In order to protect the flying public, ensure proper maintenance and provide for the long overdue increases in wages for engineers and pilots, reregulation and the requirement of tarriffs is encouraged.


Everyone should be in favour of this. The playing field would be level. Operators would make a lot more money.

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I agree with you wholeheartedly on that one Siss. The problem is, the trend over the past 20 years or so has been to drop barriers to trade, not put them up. I wonder if Canada could reregulate as you put it. NAFTA has provisions that make it very difficult to do anything that could be construed as a barrier to open and free trade.


I think the only realistic way to bring rates up would be the formation of a cartel, like in cement, diamonds and oil. Two problems here: First, see NAFTA above, and secondly, cartels usually make the owners richer and don't do a damned thing for us worker bees...


In the end, as long as so many people are willing to "grin and bear it" as pilots, the age old law of supply and demand will prevail.


And let's face it, it's not only in the helicopter industry that it's like this. Fixed wingers go through the same deal...

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Believe me, I would caertainly welcome anything that would make the companies more money. It couldn't do anything but raise the bar a bit for us pilots.


But as we know... we're doing this for the love.. not the money (too bad that's lost on the NHL, eh?)


I don't think that helicopter owners would be largely in favour of reregulation. My thought is that sure, they all 'say' they would welcome a tariff increase at the HAC convention, but then everyone gets scared to stick by it for fear of losing out to someone cheaper... again.


I think some 'thinning of the herd' is the most likely way a long term tariff increase would take hold. Of course, that thinning would most likely only take place after a poor fire season... which would hurt everyone.


It's a tough balance to maintain... offer competitive rates and still try and make a buck. The pilots don't make enough... the companies don't make enough... nobody is winning. I'm left shaking my head why this still happens.


In the end, those that choose to 'undercut' will, eventually, pay the ultimate price.

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