More safety on Tampen flights

October 2, 2002, 10:00 CEST

From 1 October Statoil's passengers taking helicopter flights from Bergen to the Tampen area of the northern North Sea are being issued with personal emergency beacons.

This arrangement is a collaboration with Norsk Hydro, which is introducing the beacons on its flights between Bergen and Florø and Tampen.

The system has been tested by the two companies over the past year on flights between Norwegian Sea fields and Kristiansund in mid-Norway or Brønnøysund further north.

Experience from these trials has been so good that the beacons there are being made permanent issue, and extended to the Tampen area.

Each device is placed in a pocket on a survival suit, and activates on contact with the sea.

Equipment to detect its signals is fitted in the search and rescue (SAR) helicopters operating in the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea and Tampen, and on the Sea King SAR machines working from land.

“We’re constantly working to improve the safety of helicopter flights,” explains Erling Munthe-Dahl in Statoil’s air safety department. “The beacons form part of these efforts.”

A total of 250 emergency beacons have been attached to survival suits at Bergen’s Flesland heliport, with another 50 installed in Florø.

They will also be provided on suits used for shuttling between installations in the Statfjord and Oseberg areas.

Passengers will be informed about the beacons through such means as a new information film shown before helicopter take-offs.

Mr Munthe-Dahl says that work is under way to establish a corresponding arrangement on Statoil’s flights to and from Stavanger.