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Resuming helicopter flights on the NCS

(UTC)Last modified

In consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority, Equinor has decided to resume flights with Sikorsky S-92 helicopters to the offshore installations on the NCS.

After the tragic helicopter accident on February 28, the major operators on the NCS decided to suspend all flights to and from installations offshore in order to ensure complete understanding of the situation.

Equinor has used the time to take care of relatives, review the situation, and make the necessary clarifications with the authorities and flight safety specialists to ensure that the flights can be resumed safely. The search and rescue service (SAR) has been operational throughout the period.

“This serious incident affects us all. Flight safety and the safety of everyone travelling by helicopter is fundamental to our operations. Based on dialogue with the Civil Aviation Authority, there are no indications that helicopter safety on the NCS is reduced,” says Kjetil Hove, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

A decision to resume flights requires coordination between the aviation authorities, helicopter operators, trade unions, and NCS operating companies. Based on this work, all the companies, coordinated through Offshore Norge, have decided to resume their flights.

“The unions and safety delegates are satisfied with the information we have received during the process. We thought it was right that flights were paused after the accident. When the authorities and other professional communities say that it is safe to start ordinary transport services, we must have great confidence in them and the decisions that have been made,” says Baste Daltveit, coordinating head safety delegate for Equinor on the Norwegian continental shelf on behalf of unions and the safety delegates.

The Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority arrived in Bergen on Thursday morning and investigations have begun.