Civil Aviation Authority has announced revised timescales for offshore helicopter safety measures

Safety is absolutely Stork’s No. 1 priority therefore we will continue to keep our employees up to date on helicopter developments.

In February 2014 the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published a report (CAP1145) announcing a series of measures to increase the safety of offshore helicopter flights.

Additional information has now been provided that has an important bearing on the timescales for implementing measures:

  • The first Category A Emergency Breathing System (EBS) units should be available by mid-July and full EBS deployment could be completed much earlier than the 1 April 2016 deadline which the CAA originally proposed.
  • The  oil and gas industry has highlighted the backlog of safety critical maintenance work that currently exists, and the implications for undertaking this activity over the summer if the seating restrictions the CAA have proposed are introduced from 1 June 2014.
  • The CAA have received more detailed information about available helicopter capacity to meet the additional requirements that would arise from the implementation of their seating restrictions pending the introduction of Category A EBS, and the impact this would have on the safety critical maintenance referred to above.
  • Finally, the redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for Airbus Helicopters' EC225 has been certified, enabling its production and installation on all rotorcraft of this type. This is an important safety modification and one that the CAA wish to see introduced as quickly as possible.

Following discussions with Oil & Gas UK, Step Change and the helicopter operators last week, the CAA have reviewed the timescales for the introduction of Actions 8 and 10 in CAP 1145. The CAA have decided to amend those as follows:

  • Action 8 - seating restrictions pending the introduction of Category A EBS will now be effective from 1 September 2014 rather than 1 June 2014
  • Action 10 - mandatory use of Category A EBS on offshore flights except in response to an emergency will now be effective from the earlier date of 1 January 2015, rather than 1 April 2016.

The CAA believe that these changes to their original proposals provide additional time for the industry to prepare for the introduction of Category A EBS during the summer. Please click here to view their full statement.

Stork’s Business Continuity Team will continue to meet regularly and work closely with industry bodies such as the Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG), Step Change and Oil & Gas UK.

Business Continuity Team

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