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New aviation guidance will be a ‘huge step’ forward in offshore helicopter safety

IOGP’s soon-to-be-published aviation guidance – IOGP Report 690: Offshore Helicopter Recommended Practices (OHRP) – represents a step change for the safety of offshore helicopter services across the industry and in achieving Project Safira’s goal of eradicating fatalities in our industry.

Its development has been a multi-year collective effort, building on the expertise of a range of industry participants, including IOC aviation professionals, helicopter operators, and industry associations such as HeliOffshore and the Flight Safety Foundation.

Tony Cramp, VP Aircraft at Shell Aircraft, says, “Key changes include adopting higher minimum certification standards for helicopters used, enhanced simulator training for pilots, the adoption of new safety technologies and human performance monitoring programmes based on successful commercial airline practice. The controls defined within OHRP are linked to other best practice industry guidance documents and are articulated in contractable form to aid wide implementation and support effective tendering processes.”

To ease its use in contracts, the content, structure, language, and style of the OHRP allows the document to be used directly in contracts to specify the technical scope for contracted operations. This can be as an external document that is referenced from the contract agreement, or alternatively, by embedding the OHRP text within agreements with their suppliers.

Francois Lassale, COO of HeliOffshore, says: “The OHRP is a huge step forward for HeliOffshore and IOGP’s collaboration on behalf of the passengers, pilots, maintainers, designers, and leaders who help us fly safely every day.  While any recommended practice will evolve as we continually improve industry performance, this new standard honours the frontline people we serve.”

Broad, effective, and consistent implementation by all IOGP members and the wider industry community will be critical to realising the safety benefits of OHRP and a co-ordinated programme to support both understanding and implementation is planned.

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