CHC Helicopter has been involved with helicopter operations for offshore wind farms for at least four years. Commercial Director Scott Butler considers how the organisation has developed its services to offer unique solutions ahead of today’s exciting announcement from CHC Helicopter and TSG Marine at #RUKAviation21 webinar from 14:00 - 15:00 today!
It is still early stages for helicopter operations in offshore wind, with marine operations having been the access solution of choice for some time. However, as new wind farms are located further offshore, the sector is gradually realising the advantages of helicopter transportation, such as agility, cost efficiency and carbon efficiency. As more personnel transition from oil and gas to the renewable energy sector, they will likely bring existing helicopter operational and technical knowledge. That said, marine, as an access solution, will always be required. The future of offshore wind needs both marine and aviation to safely and effectively move people and freight.
For CHC Helicopter, a key differentiator is that we have had many years to refine and define our services, especially regarding health and safety standards, with which smaller or newer businesses may find it difficult to compete. We have learnt a lot, developed a lot, and our safety management system is second-to-none worldwide. I don’t think it will be long before the health and safety standards expected in oil and gas are fully merged with those for offshore wind projects – it is happening. After all, there’s not much difference between landing a helicopter on a drilling rig in the North Sea or a wind farm substation in the North Sea – the same safety standards should apply. There is already a pull from the market for our level of aviation safety performance, and this is only likely to grow.
In addition to our safety standards, CHC Helicopter also has access to a broad fleet of helicopters, including aircraft of various sizes. This means we can cater to the needs of any offshore wind projects, whether they need crew changes for three passengers or 19. With access to a diverse selection of aircraft, we can also provide security of supply for total peace of mind. Plus, our heliports are strategically located nearby key offshore wind farms – Aberdeen, Norwich, Humberside and Den Helder.
To deliver a comprehensive solution, CHC Helicopter is today launching a new service. It is about combining the benefits of marine and helicopter operations, working together to provide a complete service that elevates the client experience. CHC Helicopter, in collaboration with TSG marine, has developed a solution that manages every aspect of transport to and from offshore wind farms. ‘CHSea & Air’ is the optimum single-source solution for the movement of people, equipment and freight offshore – be that by air (helicopter and fixed-wing), or sea (walk-to-work or flotel), or both. CHSea & Air will make all the logistical arrangements – everything will be seamlessly integrated. This means that if any adjustments or last-minutes changes are needed – for example, if the sea state forces a work to walk vessel to move away from their intended position – we arrange for a helicopter to make the transfer to the offshore wind installation instead. This would, historically, have been the client’s problem, and those without a dedicated logistics department would have struggled to quickly find an alternative solution, disrupting offshore wind operations.
We are happy to discuss this in more detail as part of today’s RenewableUK webinar at 14.00. There will be a Q&A opportunity, during which my colleagues – Harry Bos, Manager of Flight Operations CHC Helicopter and Erika Leadbeater, Managing Director for TSG Marine – will join me in answering questions. We look forward to engaging with you all this afternoon!
The webinar is free to attend so register now - https://events.renewableuk.com/aviation21-registration