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New Helideck safety laws

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a consultation that will see the watchdog bring in legally enforced safety standards on North Sea helidecks. Currently an Aberdeen-based body called the Helideck Certification Agency (HCA) oversees inspection and certification services for more than 300 offshore helidecks. But a review launched by the CAA last year following the fatal crash off Sumburgh saw the watchdog look at ensuring that the safety requirements of landing areas for helicopters were enforced under law, which currently the HCA is not required to do. The HCA was set up in 1997 by helicopter operators. Last year it was acquired by investors backed by a private equity company, Praesidian Capital Europe. The HCA is now controlled by a firm called Helideck Analytics, set up by former CHC executives, Neil Calvert and David Dobbin.

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CAA announces proposals as part of consultation on safety certification of helidecks

Proposals for how the UK CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) could take on the safety certification and approval of offshore helidecks have been announced as part of a consultation on the area. It comes after the review of offshore helicopter operations published in February last year highlighted that the CAA’s involvement in an enhanced certification process would raise safety level for more than 300 helidecks in UK waters. CAA safety and airspace director Mark Swan said: “The oil and gas industry puts considerable effort into maintaining safe helidecks but in cases where a helideck doesn’t meet safety standards there is currently no legal enforcement process to either shut it down or demand improvements.