ABERDEEN, UK – Industry association Oil & Gas UK has held a meeting to discuss the impact of continued non-availability of some types of offshore helicopters.
This follows Bristow Helicopters’ decision to withdraw certain aircraft from offshore service temporarily after a Super Puma helicopter ditched safely in the Shetlands area.
The meeting brought together operating company representatives from across the UK oil and gas industry to share information about this incident, to discuss the operational impact already being felt, and to explore ways of collaborating to minimize disruption to personnel transfer and to offshore operations.
Oil & Gas UK’s operations director Paul Dymond said: “Nine more helicopters which were not affected by this problem were re-introduced into service today but 25 remain unavailable. This is a significant proportion of the offshore fleet and as yet it is too early to say when we can expect these aircraft to be re-introduced.
“This current suspension is supported by the industry until we can have increased certainty around safety of the aircraft involved. Naturally the knock-on effects of this are delays and backlogs of flights with considerable inconvenience to the workforce and the potential to impact offshore operations…
“Individual operators have contingency plans in place for when flights are suspended due to bad weather for example, but preparing for a potentially longer-term issue could require greater collaboration and an industry-led solution.”