G+ and HeliOffshore collaborate on new helicopter guidance for wind farm operations
With helicopter use growing in the offshore wind industry, the G+ Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation and HeliOffshore have today unveiled new recommended practice for safe helicopter operations.
Offshore wind is one of the fastest-growing energy technologies. As wind farms have multiplied, with an increasing number being built further offshore, helicopters have become integral for operational tasks such as site surveys, transfer of personnel, and maintenance and inspection.
The G+ ‘Good practice guidelines for safe helicopter operations in support of the global offshore wind industry’ and HeliOffshore ‘Wind Farm Recommended Practice’ documents set a new benchmark for offshore wind aviation safety.
A result of two years of collaboration between representatives from helicopter operators, aircraft manufacturers, energy companies, wind turbine manufacturers and industry regulators, the recommended practice helps stakeholders integrate helicopter operations safely into offshore wind projects.
Commenting, G+ General Manager Kate Harvey said: “The harmonisation and sharing of experience that these guidelines promote will lead to real health and safety benefits, as we all continue to work tirelessly to uphold our safety performance.
“Wind industry users of helicopter services cannot simply ‘contract out’ their overall responsibility for the safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their activities, so these are fundamental resources for the services they procure.
“As offshore wind capacity grows, our commitment to operations being carried out in a safe and efficient manner remains unwavering.”
Tim Rolfe, HeliOffshore CEO, said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with G+ on the development and launch of these two essential recommended practices. It brings us one step closer to our goal of ensuring no lives are lost through offshore aviation, no matter where in the energy industry that service is provided.
“Regulators, operators and manufacturers across the world have collaborated on the documents, which support the safety leaders of tomorrow. We will now work with our members to implement these practices at an organisational level.
“As the energy sector evolves, we have a unique opportunity to apply the accumulated knowledge, skills and expertise of the last 50 years to new developments – particularly in renewables – in the decades ahead. While the risks and challenges may change, our vision remains the same: a safer frontline, for everyone, served by an open, responsive and aligned offshore aviation industry.”
The HeliOffshore Windfarm Working Group, led by Siemens Gamesa aviation specialist Lee Harris, identified and prioritised a list of critical topics to be addressed which were published in both documents respectively. Similarly, G+ member companies formed a Working Group to steer the development of these guidelines, providing oversight as well as contributing to the content.
Setup in partnership with the Energy Institute, G+ works to tackle health and safety issues in the industry through four main work programmes: incident data reporting, good practice guidelines, safe by design and learning from incidents.
HeliOffshore is the global, safety-focused association for the offshore helicopter industry. Through collaboration with and between their members, they deliver industry-wide safety programmes to enhance safety, worldwide.