Offshore workers who are too sick or injured to wear a survival suit can now be helicoptered back to shore on normal commercial flights.
Bond Offshore Helicopters has launched an offshore medical transfer service that allows incapacitated passengers to travel on normal offshore transport flights after receiving clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) this week
Previously people who were too ill to fly either had to wait offshore until they were better – or their condition deteriorated enough to warrant an airlift from the Search and Rescue service. Or they had to be transferred by boat.
The service offers a “new middle ground” for offshore workers.
It comes after Bond’s flight operations team pioneered the service, although the regulatory clearance means other helicopter operators will be able to offer similar services.
Under the new clearance, Bond can provide specialist support in the form of paramedic crew members to accompany ill or injured passengers to bring them back to shore safely and swiftly.
Bond’s director of operations, Captain Rob Dyas, said: “This new service provides an important middle ground for those passengers who may be injured or unwell but who do not qualify for the Search and Rescue services reserved for those with life-threatening conditions.
“With the expert help of our clinical advisor and with our experienced crews acting as escorts we can now transfer these passengers back to shore, providing a simple set of requirements can be met.”
The new service received clearance from the CAA this week and the facility is available for offshore flights immediately from all Bond’s UK bases.