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Red tape prevents take-off of Vietnamese-made helicopters 12:13 PM,9/29/2014

Watchdog agencies are taking a conservative approach toward the development of the Vietnam’s aviation industry, scientists say.

Vimar Nguyen, the owner of two ultralight helicopters VAM 1 and VAM 2, said though the helicopters accord with international standards, he still cannot obtain the license for testing them in VIetnam.

He noted that in Vietnam attention has been paid only to large-sized aircrafts carrying passengers, while small-sized airplanes that serve tourism or chemical spraying do not have any significance to watchdog agencies.

Dr. Nguyen Thien Tong, former Chair of the Aeronautical Engineering Division of the HCM City University of Technology, pointed out that the two helicopters still cannot take off because of the conservative mindset of leaders of state management agencies.

According to Tong, three types of treatment can be expected from state management agencies. With the first scenario, they may give active support to help develop the inventions. With the second scenario, they would keep a “wait-and-see” attitude, letting the inventors do what they want, but give no support. And with the third scenario, they would force the inventors to stop their research work.

The third scenario is the one now occurring with VAM 1 and VAM 2, according to Tong.

The scientist believes that the case of VAM 1 and VAM 2 reflects the outdated viewpoint of Vietnamese management agencies.

“The problem here is not the complicated procedures that inventors have to follow to test their inventions. What should be put into discussion is whether Vietnam should promote the domestic airplane manufacturing industry,” he noted.

He said that Vietnam was making a mistake by not paying appropriate attention to the development of small-sized aircrafts.

Meanwhile, in many other countries in the world, including the US, Australia, Thailand and Cambodia, small-sized airplanes have become more and more popular for air transport.

Vimar Nguyen is not the only inventor discouraged by the conservative mindset and red tape of state management agencies.

Bui Hien, a farmer in Binh Duong province, has also been waiting indefinitely for a license to have his helicopter tested.

Hien’s helicopter, created in accordance with international standards, has a US-made engine and other parts made by himself. It weighs 340 kilograms and consumes 15 liters of fuel for every flight hour.

However, Hien still hopes his helicopter would have a bright future.

Hien said in early September, he received two important persons, the chair of the Aerospace Association and the chair of the Creative Workers Association, who have deep knowledge about aircraft.

The two showed great interest in the helicopter made by Hien and promised to help him obtain the license for testing.

Tong believes that small-sized aircrafts will be very useful in the national economy. They can serve as ‘buses’ with 20-30 seats, helping passengers travel from remote areas to big airports.

“If so, Vietnam air carriers would have more passengers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hien hopes small-sized helicopters like his can be used in tourism, national defence activities, forest patrols and anti-smuggling campaigns.

Source: Dat Viet

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