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    UKOOA publishes revised guidelines for helidecks

    Legislation and Procedures // May 9, 2003
    The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) has significantly revised its joint industry guidelines for the management of offshore helidecks to incorporate new developments in operational practices, regulatory changes and topics arising from recent research.

    First published in 1992, and subsequently updated in 1997, the new edition is available on CD Rom and combines four guidelines previously published by UKOOA relating to the management of offshore helidecks and helicopter operations.These were:

    * Management of Offshore Helideck Operations

    * Helicopter Operations to Normally Unattended Installations

    * Helicopter Operations - Offshore Radio Operator's Procedures

    * Security Control at Helicopter Terminals

    Since the early 60s, travelers to offshore facilities and vessels on the UKCS have been almost entirely dependent on helicopters to reach their destinations. As a result, helicopter travel in a hostile marine environment has become the norm for those whowork offshore. Up until the end of 2001, over 44 million passengers had been transported by helicopter to and from offshore installations and vessels, involving more than 6 million flight stages in a total of around 2.75 million flying hours.

    The Joint Industry Guidelines were produced on behalf of UKOOA by John Burt Associates Limited and have received the full support as well as contributions from other oil & gas industry associations and regulators.

    These bodies include the British Helicopter Advisory Board, the British Rig Owners Association, the Civil Aviation Authority, Cogent, the Health & Safety Executive, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the International Marine Contractors Association, the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the Offshore Contractors Association and the Oil Industry Advisory Committee Helicopter Liaison Group.

    Chris Twyman, chairman of UKOOA's Aircraft Committee, said: "Our sole objective is to reduce the risk of all aspects of helicopter operations to as low as reasonably practicable. Gaining tangible results in improving offshore helicopter safety requires effective communication of good industry practice across the board. The new guidelines are designed to address just that, targeting all those directly concerned with providing the aircraft, managing the facilities and generally involved in helicopter operations."

    Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations are available on CD Rom from UKOOA, priced 25 for members and 50 for non-members. Telephone + 44 207 802 2400 or order online from the UKOOA publications section of the web site.

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