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Offshore helicopter operators launch joint flight safety review

Posted 25 September 2013 · Add Comment

Offshore helicopter operators Avincis Group, Bristow Group and CHC Helicopter announced today they have launched a review of safety practices that will deepen their commitment to share best practices and consistently operate at the highest possible level of safety.

The three companies leading this effort will reach out to other helicopter operators to encourage them to join the review group.

The joint review of safety-related processes, procedures, training and equipment will identify best practices on the ground and in the air, combining the operators’ collective experience.
Experts in safety, training and flight operations from the three companies will participate in the review initially, with subsequent involvement to include their maintenance personnel and other key industry professionals. The group first will focus on European operational procedures, but will explore and adopt best practice from the global industry and scale its review accordingly. The review will include:

  • Automation
  • Training
  • Manufacturing Excellence
  • Human Factors
  • Safety Communication
  • Emergency Equipment/Training
  • Emergency Response Planning

The collaboration is an outcome of ongoing dialogue among chief executives of Avincis Group, the corporate parent of Bond; Bristow Group and CHC, but is expected to extend to other operators that can contribute to the group’s work. It is anticipated the review will be conducted under the auspices of European Helicopter Operators Committee (EHOC).

Plans for collaboration by the operators will complement a just-announced review of North Sea helicopter operations by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - in partnership with the Norway CAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) - and will be done in cooperation with the International Oil & Gas Producers Association (OGP).

Findings from investigations by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and others into past incidents will also be incorporated into the group’s work.

Avincis Group CEO James Drummond said: "This initiative has our full support. There is no doubt in my mind that the combined efforts of the operators will further enhance safety for everyone in the industry."

Bristow Group president and CEO Bill Chiles said, “By sharing best practices, we can effectively enhance safety for our clients and our crews. This initiative will combine the expertise and talents within our industry and will complement and fully support the work being done by HSSG and broader industry forums to identify best-in-class technologies, processes, procedures and training to meet the objectives of achieving better safety performance.”

CHC president and CEO Bill Amelio added that the joint effort will deepen the commitment of the three industry leaders to collaborate on safety. “There are and will continue to be plenty of bases for healthy competition between our companies, but safety must never be one of them. Everyone benefits when the people who rely on us for their livelihoods are able to return home safely, and it remains our obligation to do everything humanly possible to fulfill that expectation."

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