Prepared by John Burt Associates Limited / BOMEL Limited for the Health and Safety Executive



These offshore helideck design guidelines have been developed in response to an increasing awareness within the industry that offshore helideck operations can encounter problems that potentially affect flight safety. These problems may be caused by helideck layout and equipment deficiencies, structure-induced turbulence, hot gas plumes generated by turbines and flares or the effects of wind/wave-induced motions on helidecks on floating structures and vessels. Often the problems result in operating limits being imposed by the helicopter operators. Recommendation 10.3 (i) in CAA Paper 99004, a joint HSE / CAA sponsored report into offshore helideck environmental issues, was the main starting point for these guidelines along with an increasing number of non-conformities found during helideck inspections. HSE, with the support of the CAA and endorsement by the Offshore Industry Advisory Committee’s Helicopter Liaison Group (representing industry associations, trades unions and regulators), have commissioned the development of these guidelines. The objective is to provide designers and helicopter operators with the means to identify and understand the key issues that need to be addressed during design, fabrication and commissioning of helidecks. Good helideck design and operability also requires the designer and helicopter operator to have a clear understanding of regulatory requirements and the management and operational aspects of offshore helicopter logistics. These guidelines should therefore be read in conjunction with the latest editions of CAP 437 - Offshore Helicopter landing Areas - Guidance on Standards [Ref: 40] and the UK Offshore Operators Association Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49]. They should be regarded as companion documents. The environmental research work, which is the foundation for Section 10 of these guidelines, was performed by BMT Fluid Mechanics Limited in conjunction with other specialists (e.g. DERA and JBAL). In addition, technical contributions from several experienced industry professionals and the findings from several other research projects form the substance of these guidelines. It is HSE's intention that these guidelines be periodically updated to reflect the outcome of ongoing industry research and advances in design and operating knowledge. Readers are therefore requested to send in their suggestions and comments for consideration to the HSE Hazardous Installation Directorate Offshore Division (Marine & Aviation Operations) at Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS and / or BOMEL Limited at Ledger House, Forest green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2NR.



Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the data given in this document are both correct and up to date at the time of publication, the Health and Safety Executive and authors will not accept any liability for any erroneous, incorrect or incomplete information published in this document.


Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB) British Helicopter Advisory Board (BHAB) British Rig Owners Association (BROA) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Cogent / Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Inter Union Offshore Operations Committee (IUOOC) Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA)

BOMEL Limited

John Burt Associates Limited




2 4.4 4.3 4.1 Introduction 3.3 The Offshore Helicopter Pilot’s Operating Environment 2.0 4.0 INTRODUCTION 1.4.2 4.4.4 Helideck Problems Encountered on the UKCS THE OFFSHORE HELIDECK DESIGN PROCESS 3.2 Risk and Operability Assessments 5.2.2 Scope THE OFFSHORE HELICOPTER OPERATING ENVIRONMENT 2.2.1 Introduction 2.2 4.4.1 Introduction 5.0 DESIGN SAFETY CASES 5.3 4.6 4.4.2 Design REGULATIONS.1 Purpose 1.3.0 3.1 4.2 The Offshore Platform Operator / Vessel Owners Perspective 2.3 Helideck Assessment Strategy vii .0 Offshore Helidecks Legislation & Enforcement Selecting Appropriate Design Codes Fixed Installations Mobile Installations and Vessels Verification Introduction Safety-Critical Elements Performance Standards The Process Helideck Design Appraisal Providing Information for Operating and Flight Crew Operations Manuals Limited Helideck Operations III IV VII 1 2 2 5 5 5 6 7 11 11 11 17 17 18 18 19 21 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 25 26 27 27 28 29 2.4.2 Regulations 4.1 4.1 Aeronautical Legislation and Enforcement 4.4.5 4.1 Introduction 4.7 5.CONTENTS PREFACE DISCLAIMER CONTENTS 1. DESIGN CODES & VERIFICATION 4.4 4.4.3.

4 6.1 6.2 Main References 7.5 Assessing Suitability of the Proposed Helideck Arrangement 6.2.3 6.3.6 Marine Operating Environment viii .4 The Safe Landing Area 6.1 General 6.3 Specific Features to Consider in MODU Helideck Design 7.1 Introduction 7.1 6.3 6.2 Reference Publications and Guidance 6.3.7 Main References 7.7.2 6.3.0 Performance Assessment And Review Template for a Design and Operability Report 30 30 37 37 37 37 37 38 38 38 40 41 42 48 48 48 50 50 51 51 53 54 54 54 54 55 55 55 55 56 57 57 58 58 58 58 67 67 67 68 69 HELIDECK AND FACILITIES LAYOUT 6.2 6.4 Helideck Orientation 6.5 6.2. Access And Escape Main References Helideck Control Room Access and Escape Routes 7.1 Introduction 6.3 Main References General Helicopter Parking Facilities Introduction Main References Design Considerations Hangars Obstacle Free Environment Main References Obstruction Clearances Limited Obstacle Sector Falling Gradient Control.1 Introduction 7.1 Introduction 7.1 6.5.1 6.5.2 6.2 Developing a Helideck Design Specification Helideck Physical Characteristics General Floating Production Systems 7.3 Specific Features to Consider in FPSO Helideck Design 7.4 6.3 Installation / Vessel Layout Considerations 6.2.2 6.0 FLOATING STRUCTURES AND VESSELS 7.5.2 Mobile Drilling Rigs 7.4.1 Main References 6.

7.4 9.2 Main References 9.3.4 7.1 9.5 8.3 Introduction 8.2 9.3 9.2 Main References 8.5 7.4.3 Landing Surface HELIDECK STRUCTURES 9.4 Safety Cases 8.1 Introduction 9.5 9.1.1 8.4 Support Structure 9.3.6 7.6 9.7 7.4.4 Aluminium 9.4.0 Vessel / Helideck Classification / Verification Process Optimising Helideck Location and Layout Shuttle Tanker Operations Specialist Vessels Introduction Main References Specific Features to Consider in Vessel Helideck Design Motion Considerations And Operating Limits 70 71 71 72 72 73 73 76 77 77 77 79 79 81 82 83 83 84 84 85 85 91 91 92 93 93 93 93 95 95 95 96 96 97 97 97 97 98 99 99 OTHER INSTALLATION ARRANGEMENTS 8.5 Management of Combined Operations Helidecks Normally Unattended Installations Introduction Main References Definitions Seeking the Safest and Most Efficient Helideck Design Options for Operations to NUIs Equipment Design Considerations Introduction 9.4.3 9.5 8.2.1 7.1 Combined Operations 9.3 7.2 Steel 9.2 7.4 Materials Design Interconnected Modules Maintenance Appurtenances Load Combinations and Load Factors Introduction Emergency landing Normal Operations and Helicopters at Rest Design Loadings ix .3 Design Considerations Wood 9.4.5 8.2 8.

General Considerations Platforms Walkways Stairways and Ladders Control of Personnel Access to Helideck Drainage Introduction Main References Environmental Considerations Operational Considerations Design Considerations Perimeter Safety Net Introduction Main References Design Considerations Areas to be protected by Perimeter Safety Net Combined Handrail and Safety Nets for Vessels Construction and Inspection Considerations Perimeter Safety Net Load Testing Tiedown Arrangements Introduction Main References Design Considerations Helideck Surface Trip Hazards Helideck Structural Maintenance Main References Introduction 101 101 101 101 102 103 106 107 107 107 108 109 109 111 111 112 112 112 112 113 113 113 115 115 115 115 116 116 117 121 121 121 121 121 124 124 124 124 127 127 127 127 HELIDECK ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS 10.8.11 9.12 9.8.9 9.1 9.2 9.7.1 9.7 9.13 9.4 9.1 9.9.4 9.10.3 9.6 9.10.2 9.4 9.7 9.10.2 9.3 9.1 Introduction 10.0 Helideck Friction Surface and Landing Nets Friction Surface Main References Design Considerations Helideck Landing Nets Helideck Net Fixings Helideck Landing Net Removal Access and Escape Introduction Main References Access – General Considerations Escape .8.6 9.5 9.5 9.11.2 Main References 10.1 9.8.2 10.2 9.1 Background x .3 9.7.3 9.4 9.9.10 9.9.8 9.2 9.8.7 9.6

1 10.1 10.5 10.13 11.10.3 10.10. Design Issues Introduction Aerodynamic Issues and Criteria Plan Location of the Helideck Helideck Height and Air Gap under the Helideck Proximity to Tall Structures Temperature Rise due to Hot Exhausts Cold Flaring and Rapid Blow-down Systems Special Considerations for Floating Systems and Vessels General Wave Motion Characteristics and Criteria Sea State Characterisation Vessel Motions and Helideck Downtime Helideck Location Dependence Special Considerations for FPSOs and Dynamically Positioned Vessels Combined Operations Permanent Arrangements Temporary Arrangements Examples of Good and Bad Practice in Platform Helideck Location Fixed Installations Semi-submersible and jack-up drilling units Tension Leg Platforms FPSOs Methods of Design Assessment Introduction Wind Flow Assessment Wind Climate Prevailing Wind Direction Upwind Helideck Location Estimating Helideck Downtime Due to Wind Presentation of Wind Flow Assessment Results General Presentation of Flow Assessment Results for Design Presentation of Flow Assessment Results for Operations Wave Motion Assessment Wave Induced Motion Estimates Wave Climate Limiting Motion Criteria Estimating Helideck Downtime Due to Waves 129 129 130 131 132 134 136 139 140 140 141 142 142 142 145 146 146 147 148 149 150 152 153 155 155 155 161 163 164 167 169 169 169 176 179 179 180 180 182 183 183 183 HELIDECK SYSTEMS 11.8 10.5 10.9.1 10.12 10.1 10.6 10.2 10.1 10.4 10.9.7 10.1 10.4.4 10.2 10.9.6 10.4.4 10.3 10.5.2 10.11 10.5 10.4.4 10.3 10.5.6 10.7 10.9.1 Hazardous Area Classification and Equipment Selection xi .8.1 Introduction 11.3 10.5.2 10.7.1 10.3 10.10.5 10.9

6.6 11.5.3 11.3 11.3.Lighting Systems Main References Considering the Offshore Lighting Environment Specific Requirements for NUIs Perimeter Lighting Floodlighting General Lighting Obstruction Lighting Windsock Lighting Status Lights Electrical Power Supplies General Philosophy Design Considerations Fire Protection Systems General Main References Firefighting Safety Goals and Objectives Requirements of a Foam System Design Criteria for Foam Systems Design Considerations for Monitor Systems Water / Foam Systems Hydrant Systems and Equipment Complementary Media Helideck Fire Detection Rescue Equipment Provisions Main References Rescue Equipment Cabinets Rescue Equipment Inventory Helicopter Refuelling Introduction Main References Operational Considerations General Design Considerations Communications Equipment Introduction Main References 184 184 184 184 185 187 188 188 189 191 192 195 198 199 202 204 207 207 208 208 208 209 209 211 211 212 217 218 221 223 224 224 224 227 228 228 228 228 229 235 235 235 xii .1 11.2 11.2.9 11.1 11.4 11.1 11.4 11.3.5 11.8 11.1 11.3.3 11.7 11.4 11.6 11.3 11.3 11.2.10 11.2 11.2 11.8.11.Markings Introduction Main References Helideck Markings Installation / Helideck Identification Obstruction Markings Visual Aids .3.2.1 11.6.7 11.4 11.2 11.6.8 11.1 11.2 Visual Aids .5.7.9 11.3 11.3.5 11.6 11.2 11.5.2 11.7

1 11.8 11.8.2 11.12.DESIGN INFORMATION xiii .8 11.1 11.5 11.9.3 11.REFERENCES APPENDIX 3 .8.DESIGN INFORMATION APPENDIX 8 – EUROCOPTER AS332L1 .9 11.8.2 11.LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS APPENDIX 4 – BELL 214ST . 11.8.10.CONTRIBUTORS APPENDIX 2 .4 11.DESIGN INFORMATION APPENDIX 7 – EC225 .3 11.9 11.12 11.7 11.4 11.5 Location of Equipment and Aerials Aeronautical VHF Radio Marine VHF Radio Helideck Crew Portable VHF Sets NDB Equipment Public Address and Alarm Systems Video Briefing System Meteorological Equipment Introduction Main References Equipment Requirements Wind Velocity and Direction Measuring Equipment Air Temperature Measuring Equipment Barometric Pressure Measuring Equipment Visibility Measuring Equipment Cloudbase Measuring Equipment Vessel Motion Measuring Equipment Automatic Meteorological Instrument Station Miscellaneous Helideck Equipment General Helicopter and Helideck Washdown and Cleaning Equipment Bird Control Devices Safety Signs and Posters Introduction Main References Specifying Safety Signs General Helideck Signs Heli-Admin Signs and Posters 236 237 238 238 238 239 240 240 240 241 241 242 245 246 247 248 248 249 250 250 251 251 254 254 254 254 255 256 260 262 269 273 275 277 279 281 APPENDIX 1 .9.DESIGN INFORMATION APPENDIX 5 – EH INDUSTRIES EH101 . 11.5 11.11 11.DESIGN INFORMATION APPENDIX 6 – EUROCOPTER EC155 .7 11.9.10 11.2 11.9.



The OIAC-HLG membership is comprised of HSE. IADC. this greater awareness of operating problems has not always been matched by a full and clear understanding of requirements at the interfaces between aviation. helicopter travel has become the norm for the workforce. The harsh operating environment. BHAB. The primary role is moving people to and from their workplaces on the offshore facilities. UKOOA. Over the thirty years or so since oil and gas activities commenced on the UKCS. some serious and fatal accidents and the emergence of goal setting regulations offshore have all contributed to a greater awareness of the problems associated with operating helicopters in a marine environment. 1 . the Offshore Industry has been dependent on the efficient and safe use of helicopters for logistics and emergency support. BROA. standards of equipment and the competence and training of helideck crews that were subsequently corrected. However. A measure of the scale of this vital activity since the early sixties is that there have been in the order of 6 million flights and 45 million passenger movements within the UKCS (1968 –2002). emergency evacuation and search and rescue.1. on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) [Ref: 34] revealed deficiencies concerning the physical layout of helidecks. CAA. Other roles include freight movement. oil and gas production and processing and marine operations. Helideck surveys carried out between 1992 and 1995 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). helideck operations. IMCA and the trades unions TGWU and AMICUS (MSF). Since oil and gas exploration activities began on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). The introduction of helicopters in the early sixties as a routine offshore ‘workhorse’ has increasingly brought the associated operational support activities into sharper focus. maintenance.0 INTRODUCTION These guidelines have been developed and published under the sponsorship of the Health & Safety Executive supported by the Civil Aviation Authority and endorsed by the Offshore Industry Advisory Committee – Helicopter Liaison Group (OIAC-HLG) to provide technical information about the design and operation of helidecks and their facilities and to indicate current good practice. It is vital that the technical requirements for helicopter operations are properly identified during the conceptual design of an installation and given full consideration at all subsequent stages from detailed design through to fabrication.

flight crews. Offshore Installation Owners and Operators. Technologically. MODUs and vessels. 1.2 SCOPE The guidelines are intended to comprehensively address the routine and key technical issues that are known to arise in the design and construction of offshore helidecks and the execution of UKCS offshore and helideck operations. 1.1 PURPOSE These guidelines are intended to: • Assist those involved with the conceptual and detailed design of helideck systems to specify the equipment on offshore installations. operations and any subsequent modification. In so doing. installation and commissioning. Helicopter Operators and the Regulators continue to seek improvements to helicopter safety and and vessel owners should similarly recognise the need to continuously improve the standards of helideck hardware and their operating management of helicopter facilities. the guidelines should provide industry with advice and technical information on good helideck design and construction practices and the acceptable operating standards that duty holders and vessel owners are reasonably expected 2 . maintenance engineers. Aircraft designers. in order to provide suitable helideck arrangements that will ensure good availability under both normal and emergency operating conditions • Assist onshore and offshore personnel responsible for the management of offshore helicopter and helideck operations to provide safe and efficient offshore helicopter services • Provide Independent Competent Persons (ICPs) who are undertaking verification of offshore helideck and facilities design and operations inspections and audits with examples of good industry practice. helicopters have improved significantly during the period they have operated on the UKCS.

Therefore. under the sponsorship of OIAC-HLG. the content of this document will be reviewed and periodically updated to embody the latest information. 3 . Duty Holders should be careful to use up to date editions of the reference documents mentioned adopt. It is acknowledged that advances in technologies used in helideck design will continue as a result of ongoing research and development projects and will have occurred during the preparation of these guidelines.


2 THE OFFSHORE PLATFORM OPERATOR / VESSEL OWNERS PERSPECTIVE The helicopter crew. HLO and deck crews are the end users.0 THE OFFSHORE HELICOPTER OPERATING ENVIRONMENT 2. particularly when they act or operate in isolation from one another.1 INTRODUCTION The offshore helicopter operating environment is viewed quite differently by the various organisations and people that are involved in the wide range of activities. The following sections serve to offer an insight into the end users’ perspectives and thus provide a better understanding of the overriding operational requirements and outcomes that should be given priority consideration. lead to inadequate helideck facilities and support arrangements being provided. 2.2. MODU or vessel owner makes the capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the design and construction of a helideck. The installation operator. 5 . from helideck design through to actual offshore helideck operations. It is the different perspectives held by these individuals and organisations that can. They also pay the operating expense (OPEX) during life of field helicopter operations. and often does. The various parties include: • • • • • • Installation Operators / Vessel Owners Management (Duty Holders) Helicopter Operators (AOC Holder). Flight Crews and Maintenance organisations Helicopter Landing Officers (HLOs). design and construction. Deck Crews and Service Providers Helideck Designers. Fabricators and Technical Support Specialists (Consultants) Installation / Vessel Project Engineering & Construction Management Regulators. Several individuals and organisations will be involved in the ‘lifetime’ management of a helideck design and its routine operation. They have to endure the day-to-day problems in operations caused by any errors and omissions during initial helideck specification.

good weather flying conditions. poor visibility). It is much the same when taking-off. Despite the many advances in aircraft technology. It requires high levels of training.3 THE OFFSHORE HELICOPTER PILOT’S OPERATING ENVIRONMENT Offshore flight operations are a highly complex and specialised process. the helideck and its systems give value for money over the life of the facility. Design deficiencies that increase OPEX should be avoided.Reductions in capital expenditure by economising on helideck design and construction costs may well prove very expensive in operating costs. during night flying and when other predictable and / or unpredictable factors routinely found in and around the environs of an offshore installation or vessel are encountered. offshore helicopter crews have relatively little ground-based technology and fairly limited information to assist them as they commence their final approach for a landing on an offshore helideck.g. 2. The helideck and facilities designers (usually several discipline engineers) are tasked with developing the helideck structure and systems design for fabrication and construction. This means ensuring that the helideck and systems design will provide for safe and efficient flight operations. Unlike pilots operating from onshore airfields. navigation. landing and communications aids in recent years. the skills of flight crews can be stretched. When a task is carried out in adverse weather (e. there are currently no reliable and effective 6 . An integrated and well-informed approach by operations and project management and the discipline engineers is more likely to produce a good operational helideck and support systems. land and takeoff from an offshore installation and to consistently execute the task safely and efficiently under ‘normal’. competence and skill to plan a flight. Therefore. their primary objective should be to ensure that for a given CAPEX. Simply following oil field tradition and practice during the design phase will invariably embody all the errors and omissions that have accumulated in helideck designs over the years.

pilot information. offshore helicopter crews have to rely heavily on their acquired skills and experience when approaching. It is not necessary or appropriate to review the whole scope of helicopter flying in these guidelines. It is important to note that the restricted helidecks are not confined only to older Installations. those built over 20 years ago or more). it is to essential to consider two important topics concerning flight crew activities that are performed within the offshore flight operations process. They are covered in detail in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49]. physical obstructions in 210° sector and 5:1 infringements) and limitations / comments arising from flight experience (e. 2.g.g. Therefore. Helideck Designers are recommended to acquaint themselves with these topics.4%) Restrictions referred to in the IVLL included notified non-compliances (e. Restrictions continue to be established and imposed by the Helicopter Operators 7 .electronic landing aids available for use on offshore installations / vessels. a count of the BHAB Helidecks Installation / Vessel Limitations List (IVLL) – now renamed the Helideck Limitations List (HLL) – showed the following: UNRESTRICTED HELIDECKS 96 (25. landing and taking-off from offshore installations / vessels. turbulent sectors and turbine exhaust effects).6%) RESTRICTED HELIDECKS 279 (74.g. MODUs and vessels (e. However. 2. In 1997. HSE and CAA have jointly funded a number of studies and research projects that have included analysis of incidents and other statistical data relating to offshore helicopter safety. CAA Paper 99004 [Ref: 41] provides two good measures of the extent of problems encountered by offshore helicopters due to adverse helideck environmental conditions. These are: 1. landing and take off manoeuvres.4 HELIDECK PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED ON THE UKCS In recent years. and approach.

7%) AIRCRAFT OPERATION 6 (33.9%) EXHAUST PLUMES 3 (16.1%) CLIMB 0 (0%) PRIMARY CAUSE FLARE / BURNERS 4 (22.7%) PILOT ERROR 4 (22.2%) FAILURE CATEGORY INSTALLATION DESIGN 12 (66.0%) TAKE-OFF 2 (11.2%) TURBULENCE 7 (38. Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) database shows that defects in Installation design can be cited as the cause for two thirds of the occurrences. an analysis of 18 accident reports (see following table) taken from the CAA SI&DD.3%) Further evidence to demonstrate the need for ensuring that design and operation of helidecks on the UKCS are properly managed.8%) LANDING 9 (50. Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) database over the period 1975 to 2001 and provides a breakdown of nonfatal reportable accident causes. Such design deficiencies can seriously undermine operational efficiency and compromise safety FLIGHT PHASE AT OFFSHORE INSTALLATION APPROACH 5 (27.Helideck Technical Committee for basic deficiencies on helidecks that have been more recently installed. 8 . In the same CAA Paper.3%) 4 (22. The table takes data from the CAA SI&DD.1%) PILOT ERROR OTHER 9 (50%) 3 (33. is illustrated in the following table.1%) HOVER 2 (11.2%) SECONDARY CAUSE FLARE / BURNERS 0 (0%) TURBULENCE EXHAUST PLUMES 2 (11. This situation clearly suggests that helideck operability was not properly addressed during the initial design phase of the Installations concerned.

9 .


1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this part of the guidance document is to identify the topics and expand the requirements that need to be properly considered in the design and fabrication of new helidecks and the modification of existing helidecks.4 – Specifying the Helideck and Support Systems. regardless of the type of facility to which they are fitted. The process is illustrated in the following figures: Figure 3.1 – Defining the Basic Requirements for a Helideck Figure 3.2 DESIGN Offshore helideck and facilities design can be broken down into a sequence of events within an overall project process.0 THE OFFSHORE HELIDECK DESIGN PROCESS 3. 3.3.3 – Facility and Helideck Layout Considerations Figure 3.2 – Verification / Classification Process and Selecting Design Codes Figure 3. 11 .

FPSO. Vessel) What is the Project Logistics intent ? Is a helicopter landing area required? If yes. Manned or NUI) un . 3. 3.Defining the Basic Requirements for a Helideck 12 . Under what jurisdiction is the facility to operate ? W hat is the Project Design Helicopter ? Is a parking / laydown area required ? What is the predicted meteorological operating environment ? What is the predicted marine operating environment ? Is helicopter refuelling required ? Decide verification / classification process and establish project design codes If yes. See See Fig. MODU. including reserves See See Figure 12 Fig.1 . determine the operational fuel usage and fuel storage capacity required.44 Figure 1 .Figure 3. 3.1 .Defining the Basic installation What type of offshore Requirements for a Helideck / vessel / helicopter operations are envisioned? Fixed ? Fixed? (e. Figure 3.3. manne d or (e.manned) Mobile ? (e.g.3 Figure 1 See See Fig.g.2 .g.

Fixed Installations (incl.Verification / Classification Process and Selecting Design Codes 13 .2 . FPSOs) Mobile Installations (incl.) Figure 3.Verificationdesignatedan / Classification Process and Selecting Design Codes (Also ififdesignated an (Also offshore installation) Offshore Installation) Offshore Health & Safety Regulatory Requirements Aviation Regulatory Requirements Flag State (Marine) Regulatory Requirements All applicable regulations identified. advised to project and complied with Classification Society / Verification Authorities identified and appointed.2 .Verification / Classification Process and Selecting Design Codes Figure 3. where appropriate Authority Jurisdictions for the operating location correctly identified and advised to project? All applicable project helideck design codes (structures & systems) and operating procedures identified and advised to project ICAO Annex 14 Vol 2 CAP 437 IMO MODU code SOLAS (Ships) Flag State Rules Ships Rules (Class) Industry Guidelines Figure 3. etc.2 . MODUs) Specialist Vessels (DSVs.

Facility and Helideck Layout Considerations Determine maximum safe landing area Determine maximum required helideck size and shape Determine available helideck locations on the installation Assess all potential adverse helicopter environmental effects required Can the dead and imposed loads of the helideck and support structure be accommodated? Can the full obstruction free environment be obtained without incurring operating limitations? Can adverse environmental factors be minimised and helideck operability assured? Have all the appropriate regulatory and code requirements been complied with? Has the extent and operating impact of any potential flight limitations been properly considered and passed as acceptable by the helicopter operator or by an aviation specialist? NO YES YES Reappraise design layout and find solutions FIX helideck design layout Figure 3.3 .Project design helicopter established Figure 3.3 .Facility and Helideck Layout Considerations 14 .

9) Figure 3.2 & 11.Specifying the Helideck and Support Systems (Section Numbers refer to these guidelines) 15 .12) Aviation fuel system and equipment properly specified (Section 11.7) Fire Protection systems requirements identified and capacities calculated All visual aids (markings and lighting) properly identified and set out (Sections 11. surface.3) (Section 11.3) Helideck motion recording system and equipment identified & specified (FPSOs.5) Aviation Fuel storage and supply systems identified.10 & 11. MODUs & Vessels) (Section 11.9) Structural support design / material /construction requirements identified and satisfied (See Section 9) Fire protection & rescue equipment properly specified (Sections 11.6) Helideck.2) Alarm & public address systems identified & specified (Section 11. material.8) All miscellaneous helideck equipment.8 & 11.6. installation side signage and obstruction markings properly specified (Sections 11.5 & 11.4) Lighting systems requirements specified & adequate electrical power (main & UPS) available (Sections 11. properly identified and specified (Sections 11.4 . access & escape selected (Sections 6 & 9) Refuelling system required? (Section 11. safety equipment and signs. etc. located and sized (Section 11. size and shape determined (Sections 6 & 10) Helideck design.7) Protective clothing requirements identified and specified (Section11.7) Communications and meteorological equipment requirements identified and properly specified (Sections 11. identification.Safe Landing Area (SLA) and overall helideck location.






There are a significant number of regulations governing the use of helicopters and the provision of facilities for their operation on the UKCS. These Guidelines identify the regulations in force at the time of publication, but users of this document should always ensure that they refer to the latest issue of any regulation; particularly new or revised HSE Publications and HSE and CAA research and development papers (See Appendix 2). Over the years several documents have been published in the form of legal requirements, official notices, guidance and good industry practice for offshore helicopter operations. The essential elements of these documents will be found referenced in the text and appendices of these Offshore Helideck Design Guidelines. This section deals with the legislation and enforcement with respect to helideck design, construction and verification as two distinct subjects: • • aeronautical operations, and offshore helideck operations.

The offshore regulations do not apply to vessels that are not designated as Offshore Installations, UK or Flag State Marine Law applies to these vessels. Aeronautical operations regulations and guidelines make no such distinction on the UKCS: Aviation Rules always apply. It is, however, recommended that owners and builders of vessels with helidecks that will operate on the UKCS, in support of oil and gas operations, seriously consider the advantages of complying fully with the UK offshore and aviation regulatory requirements. There is considerable operational and commercial benefit to be obtained by employing the most rigorous design standards. This design guide is written with these standards in mind.



Aeronautical Legislation and Enforcement
As these Guidelines deal only with offshore helideck operations, it is not intended to detail the legislation and enforcement regime as it applies directly to the maintenance and operation of helicopters. Helicopter Operators are obliged to comply with relevant Aviation Law. The onus is on the Helicopter Operators, as holders of Air Operators Certificates (AOC) to ensure that any landing site meets minimum requirements. If a helicopter operator finds serious failings and deficiencies in the facilities, he may decide not to authorise the helideck for use. The primary instrument of civil aviation legislation in the UK is the Civil Aviation Act 1982 [Ref: 2]. Under the 1982 Act, CAA is responsible for operation of the Air Navigation Order (ANO). The legislation is supported by Civil Aviation Publications (CAPs). CAP 437 [Ref: 40] is the primary UK aviation standard for the design of offshore helidecks. This standard contains the criteria that an AOC Holder will use in order to authorise the helideck for use by Flight Crews. Offshore helidecks fall within the definition of ‘unlicensed aerodromes’ and are outside the CAA licensing remit. However, the CAA will provide advice on any items of non-compliance with the helideck physical characteristics and emergency equipment requirements according to the guidance provided in CAP 437. Acting on behalf of the offshore helicopter operators, BHAB Helidecks assess and inspect helideck designs and apply appropriate operational restrictions where there are non-compliances. The CAA monitors the operational restrictions that are imposed by BHAB Helidecks through its regulation of the helicopter operators. It is therefore important to realise that non-compliance with design criteria of CAP 437 may result in significant loss of helicopter operational flexibility (e.g. reduction in available payloads or even a landing ban in certain weather conditions). Frequently found non-conformities during BHAB Helideck inspections are highlighted in the appropriate sections of these guidelines.



Offshore Helidecks Legislation & Enforcement
This section addresses the regulatory requirements and enforcement affecting Offshore Installation operators, mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) owners and, where appropriate, vessel owners. The responsibility for regulating and enforcing the health, safety and welfare of employees offshore rests with the HSE – Offshore Division (OSD). Health and Safety at Work Act The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) [Ref: 1] is the principal legislation safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of workers in the UK offshore oil and gas industry. The Act applies to places and activities specified in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Application Outside Great Britain) Order 1995 (SI 1995/263) [Ref: 4]. This includes helideck activities on offshore installations, but not helicopters while in flight. Flag State laws and ICAO and IMO conventions may also apply to shipping activities (e.g. specialist vessels). MODUs may be both Installations and ships and, therefore, have to comply with both regimes. The Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/913) – (DCR) [Ref: 8] place responsibility for ensuring the safe design and construction of offshore installation landing areas on the installation duty holder. This generally means the operators of fixed installations and owners of mobile installations, floating production units and some vessels. Offshore Legislation The Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 (Sl 1992/2885) – (SCR) [Ref: 5] require Operators and Owners to submit a Safety Case (See Appendix 2) which demonstrates that they have an adequate safety management system, have identified major accident hazards, assessed the risks from those hazards, and taken the measures necessary to reduce the risks to persons to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).


In addition, the following regulations have relevance to offshore helicopter operations: • The Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/738) – (MAR) [Ref: 6] The Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/743) – (PFEER) [Ref: 7] • The Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc.) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/913) – (DCR) [Ref: 8].

Designers should be aware that the above regulations may subsequently be modified by other enabling legislation which introduces new or amended requirements that may have an affect on the intent of the original regulations. Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) that provide interpretation of these Regulations, along with other non-mandatory guidance are listed in Appendix 2. Duty holders who comply with ACOP’s are deemed to comply with the pertinent regulations. The supporting guidance to DCR, Regulation 11 (‘Helicopter Landing Area’) refers to the relevant CAA published guidance, CAP 437 [Ref: 40]. Duty Holders of Offshore Installations and owners of vessels having a helideck should always ensure that compliance with CAP 437 is established initially (subject to any declared non-compliance), and subsequently maintained. The CAA is in a position to enforce certain standards on helicopter operators. Essentially, this means that a helideck shall meet the minimum standards set out in CAP 437. Where these standards cannot be achieved in full, BHAB Helidecks apply relevant restrictions. The HSE regards CAP 437 as appropriate guidance regarding helideck standards. In extreme cases where CAP 437 criteria cannot be fully met, this could entail a landing ban on the installation, MODU or vessel in certain weather conditions and / or on night operations.



The selection of appropriate design codes at the commencement of design is essential to ensure that the helideck structure and support systems are fit for purpose and meet UK regulatory and operational requirements.


Fixed Installations
Generally, selection of appropriate regulations, guidance and design codes for design and construction of a fixed installation to be placed on the UKCS is a straightforward matter. These guidelines address many of the current requirements throughout the text and should therefore provide designers with a good appreciation of the standards to be adopted.


Mobile Installations and Vessels
The selection of appropriate regulations, guidance and design codes for MODU and vessel helidecks is a different and often more complex matter. Essentially, the starting point is the Owners specification for the MODU or vessel and this will dictate such things as the Country / Port of Registration, vessel class, operating regions, Classification Society, etc. If the MODU or vessel helideck is to be used operationally on the UKCS there are potentially a number of conflicts likely to arise between UK and International requirements and Classification Society Rules, particularly where the MODU or vessel is designed and constructed outside the UK. It is therefore the responsibility of the MODU or vessel owner to address and resolve all possible regulatory and code conflicts when writing the initial vessel specification if the helideck is intended to operate in UK waters without having severe operating restrictions imposed by BHAB Helidecks. Design areas where conflicts in the requirements generally occur are: • • • • Helideck structural codes and passive fire protection (particularly if aluminium helideck structures are specified) Helideck size, allowable mass and obstruction criteria Helideck and installation / vessel markings Lighting systems

The above areas where potential MODU and vessel design and construction requirements may conflict are covered in more detail in Section 7. UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Safety-Critical Elements [Ref: 51] provide further detailed information. 4.) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/913) – (DCR) have amended the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2885) – (SCR) to replace the Certification regime established by the. This means that a failure in any part of its operation could cause. or substantially contribute to.4. some of which are safety-critical or have safety-critical sub-systems or components.4 4. There is also the basic requirement to comply with CAP 437. An Offshore Installation helideck is a collection of systems. helicopters and workforce. etc. 22 . a major accident at the installation with potentially serious consequences for installation. For legal and practical reasons. There is close correlation between the fundamental requirements of classification and that of verification. therefore. capacities and coverage Rescue equipment scales.2 Safety-Critical Elements Operators / Owners are required to list the Safety-Critical Elements (SCEs). The Safety Case centred Regulations dispensed with the concept of a Certifying Authority and place sole responsibility for the development and ongoing maintenance of a safe Installation onto the Operator or Owner (Duty Holder). It is recommended that vessel owners operating in UK waters adopt a similar approach to that described below where they have an operational helideck installed. it makes good sense to apply this design guidance to all helidecks. 4. now revoked. Offshore Installations (Construction and Survey) Regulations 1974.• • Firefighting system selection.4.1 VERIFICATION Introduction The Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction. have them subject to independent review and develop a scheme for verification of their performance throughout the life cycle of the installation.

4.4 The Process Having set the performance standards.4. MODU or vessel owner.g. provided they have not been involved technically in the design and planning of the relevant parts of the installation and that their management lines should be separate from those whose work they are checking. However. SCE performance standards do not cover the auditing of helideck operational aspects. These should be covered in the installation Safety Management System (SMS).3 Performance Standards Performance standards should be set by the Installation Operator. It is for the operator / owner to decide how this is to be achieved. Also. firefighting system) may prevent the on-board capability from limiting the effects of a helicopter accident on the helideck. Meeting the installation integrity requirements of DCR and PFEER performance standards also contribute to assuring the SCEs for the helideck. CAP 437 should be used as the basis for setting the relevant SCE performance standards. it should also be recognised that the requirements of CAP 437 must be met in order to obtain BHAB Helidecks clearance for routine flight operations. 23 . systems and equipment are fit for purpose. In setting the performance standards to comply with offshore legislation. they are equally important. ‘Independent’ in this context may include employees of the installation operator. 4. or be consulted on the verification scheme and to implement it. independent and competent persons should be selected by the operator / owner to prepare. MODU or vessel owner to measure or assess the suitability and effectiveness of the helideck and to assure and verify that the helideck structure. Therefore.4. The prime requirement of the verifying body is an adequate capability to assess the importance of defects.Sub-systems contributing to safety-criticality may include: Helideck Helicopter firefighting Escapeways Power Drainage Emergency Lighting This list of items arises from the helideck function as a means for evacuating the installation / vessel in an emergency (where possible under certain defined scenarios). failure of helideck safety systems (e.

It should also define how these measurements will be undertaken. The scope and level of the verification scheme should define what parameters will be measured. independent and competent person(s) should conduct a design appraisal and fabrication survey to verify that the helideck and its systems meet the specified performance standards (see CAP 437) and is ‘fit for purpose’ in respect of the following items.e. When.It is also important to ensure that the objectivity of those undertaking verification works is not compromised. 5:1) access and escape routes parking arrangements. The personnel carrying out routine inspection and testing and the personnel who will independently verify this work may cover this.5 Helideck Design Appraisal During development of a new helideck or the modification of an existing helideck. if provided lighting markings friction surface tiedowns helideck net and perimeter safety net refuelling facilities firefighting equipment – hardware aspects helideck details in the Operations Manual. as a minimum: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • size and structural adequacy for selected helicopter orientation to prevailing winds gas / exhaust emissions and turbulence environment effects of vessel motions (if applicable) suitable helideck height clear landing approach and take-off paths obstructions within permitted limits falling gradient (i. 4. where and how often the performance standards will be measured or assessed during the life cycle should be specified. 24 . equipment tested or designs reviewed.4. There should also be a system for verifying that the performance standards have been achieved.

when appropriate. Upon satisfactory completion of the helideck Hook Up and Commissioning.5). it is essential to include any information to be provided in written instructions to flight crews. the addition of new modules. consulted on issues concerning potential non-compliances with CAP 437 requirements. BHAB Helidecks should also be notified at the commencement of ‘new’ helideck designs or modifications to existing helidecks and. will highlight non-compliances and thus assist BHAB Helidecks with determining whether operational limitations should be applied.4. comment and retention.g. Information to be gathered for inclusion in the installation or vessel operations manuals should be largely the same as that required to develop the Design and Operability Report (template provided in Section 5. 25 .6 Providing Information for Operating and Flight Crew Operations Manuals One of the imperatives at the conclusion of helideck design and construction is to provide relevant and complete technical information for future use by the helideck and flight crews. should be passed to BHAB Helidecks for their review. It should be clearly understood that modifications on installations. As part of the inspection / acceptance process BHAB Helidecks require a full set of plans and documentation as listed on the Offshore Helideck Inspection Report (OHIR). MODUs and vessels in areas off the actual helideck and some distance away can adversely affect helideck operations (e. etc. the appropriate design documents including drawings. 4. etc. OIMs and helideck crews. BHAB Helidecks should be notified in order for them to undertake an initial inspection of the helideck and its systems prior to the commencement of flight operations. etc.). should be reviewed and verified by an independent competent person (ICP). In particular. At the conclusion of the helideck design and fabrication. along with an appraisal of the relevant design documents. a set of ‘up to date’ design documents including drawings.During the helideck design verification process. repositioning of gas turbine exhausts and vent systems. wind tunnel test reports. This initial inspection. The inspection will follow the approved Offshore Helideck Inspection Report (OHIR) format. wind tunnel test reports.

Vendor information. MODU and vessel owners should instruct Topsides and Helideck Design Contractors to advise them formally of any helideck or associated system deficiencies arising from the overall installation. 26 . the problems likely to be encountered and the likely costs incurred by the duty holder during operations should be clearly understood and justified to the helideck owner by the designers. Installation operators.4. operating instructions and maintenance and test manuals should also be obtained for each piece of procured equipment and provided for use on the facility. 4.7 Limited Helideck Operations In the event that helideck operations are likely to be restricted as a result of design or construction deficiencies. MODU or vessel helideck designs that may give rise to helicopter or helideck operational restrictions and / or additional operating expense. data sheets.

particularly during critical flight phases.0 DESIGN SAFETY CASES 5. MODU or vessel. The objectives were then expanded further in guidance on the regulations. The approach taken when making these Regulations was to set objectives. and to take measures to reduce the risks to as low as is reasonably practicable (Regulation 8). References to these studies should be made in the Design and Operations Safety Cases. When combined with local weather conditions the resultant effects can place helicopters in jeopardy. in particular. Failure modes of installation. with respect to helicopter operations.1 INTRODUCTION The Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 (SCR) (SI 1992/2885). should adequately address the potential effects on helicopter flight operations caused by adverse operating environments created on and around offshore installations. loss of heading control on a vessel whilst a helicopter is located on the helideck). physical turbulence generation and lit flares. it is noted that. These adverse effects may result from production and power generation processes and structures on the installation or from adjacent installations and vessels. Duty Holders. including helicopter accidents. including Designers. HSE has recognised the need to consider the hazards to helicopters created by an installation. among other things require installation owners and duty holders to identify all hazards which could cause a major accident. HSE Safety Notice 4/99 [Ref: 23] draws duty holders’ attention to the need to consider installation or vessel induced hazards for helicopters. assess any hazards due to hydrocarbon gas release. MODU or vessel systems that have the potential to affect the safety of helicopters should also be assessed (e. Duty Holders including Designers should. exhaust emissions. It does not specifically encompass the hazards and risks to a helicopter and its passengers from the installation and its processes. The joint HSE / CAA research project resulting in CAA Paper 99004 [Ref: 41] concluded (Conclusion No: 29) that guidance in the past has been solely and erroneously concentrated on the risk to the installation and has not explicitly encompassed the hazards the installation may pose to the helicopter. the guidance on Safety Case Regulations is focused mainly on the hazards and risks to an installation and its personnel from impacts by aircraft.g. 27 . However.5.

Gas turbine exhaust plumes are largely invisible to a helicopter pilot but can be detrimental to helicopter handling and performance.3. Diesel exhaust emissions can also cause serious degradation to the quality of the flying environment. however. also represent a hazard to helicopters. There may be conflict between flights to adjacent installations. engine control and performance are generally less than from gas turbine exhausts operating at higher temperatures. bridge linked units can make a choice of helideck available. duty holders should install helideck status lights. 5. The thermal effects from diesel exhaust emissions on helicopter rotor. This is particularly so in respect of the fumes and airborne particulates associated with diesel exhausts. outlined in Section 5. involving closely positioned workover rigs or flotels) where the effects of windflow. Poorly controlled activities which could adversely affect the wind flow over the helideck. These include: 1.5. 28 . 2.g. exhausts and proximity on helicopter operations have not been considered. 4.2 RISK AND OPERABILITY ASSESSMENTS There are a number of situations where the actions of the duty holder could be prejudicial to the safety of helicopter operations. whether due to an unforeseen accident. 3. or as part of a controlled blowdown of process equipment. The sample strategy. Where a condition can exist which may be hazardous to the helicopter or the occupants. is provided to maximise coverage of the helideck assessment. Combined operations (e. Information on the operational status of such equipment should be made available to pilots. Lack of awareness on the part of the OIM of the impact of routine platform activities on helicopter operations can also be important. such as design modifications to the topside layout or blocking air gaps under the helideck (where these are provided) thereby reducing the effectiveness of the design air gap. Releases of hydrocarbon gas.

operation and maintenance of wind recording equipment Combined operations involving another installation or vessel in the vicinity of the installation with potential to disturb the airflow significantly or to emit hot exhaust into the flight path of a helicopter • The Safety Management System for an installation should set the standards and monitor compliance against a set of established operational requirements designed to minimise environmental hazards to helicopter operations • Standards to be attained and procedures to be used for monitoring the control of installation activities to ensure an acceptable level of safety for helicopter operations is maintained Ensuring procedures are in place for communicating relevant information to helicopter operators in a timely manner.5.3 HELIDECK ASSESSMENT STRATEGY When preparing risk and operability assessments the duty holder should particularly address the following issues by preparing a schedule of key factors likely to have an impact on the safety of helicopter operations. including any departure from agreed operational practice. which may have an adverse effect on helicopter safety. but is not necessarily limited to: • • The maintenance of unobstructed air flow over and under the helideck Consideration of the likely impact on the airflow situation due to changes in the topside layout that could range for example from temporary storage under the helideck to more permanent changes such as the addition of cladding to the drilling derrick • The operation of gas turbine units in situations where hot exhaust gasses may be emitted into the path of a helicopter Flaring and blowdown of flammable gas which may be prejudicial to helicopter operations • • The location. The schedule should include. Offshore safety requires co-operation between everyone who has a contribution to make to ensure health and safety on an offshore installation or the activities 29 • • .

To achieve acceptance for flight operations by the helicopter operators (BHAB Helidecks) with minimum operating limitations. helideck design and operability and the intended arrangements for helicopter operations should be assessed against current guidelines and good industry practice. 30 . therefore. employees. owners. It is also important for the duty holder to have a good measure of the operability of a helideck and facilities design in terms of the proposed operating arrangements and the predicted operational performance (e. A performance assessment can be made using the template set out in Section 5. 5. managers and people in charge of visiting vessels or aircraft.1 TEMPLATE FOR A DESIGN AND OPERABILITY REPORT Report Objectives The objectives of a Design and Operability Report are: 1. and the guidance given in this document may assist with assessing the completeness of the case for safety.5. very wide and includes operators.5. The overall scope of individual duty holder submissions will vary considerably. to enable the verification process to be completed. concession owners. The scope of Regulation 8 of MAR is. 4. To provide a document that interfaces with the Safety Case and provides relevant operating information for helicopter crews and helideck teams. 2. availability). To provide relevant information about the helideck and support systems design and operability. employers. 5.5 5. 3.4 PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW When reviewing the assessments. To present an overview of the facilities design and the provisions being made for supporting helicopter operations to and from an installation or vessel.g.involving the installation.

MODUs and vessels. it can be more complicated. data sheets and reports (e.g. passenger and freight handling should be noted. It is also prudent to identify each of the ‘official’ bodies concerned with the verification of the helideck. the contents of this section should address the installation. This process is usually simple for UK fixed installations but. Section 2 – Management Summary To include statements on the completion of design and operability assessment activities. codes and standards that are applicable to the helideck design. construction and verification processes. Originator. Revision and Approval status and date. helideck wind tunnel testing). The field operator’s requirements (taken from initial design specification) for the helideck and facilities should be noted along with any variations requested as design proceeds.5.2 Suggested Report Structure Section 1 – Introduction Preferably limited to general statements about the facility and to report objectives. Diversion and adverse weather polices should be included along with relevant information on intended search & rescue provisions / coverage and a statement on adverse weather policy. completion of helideck hook-up and commissioning activities and overall conclusions on the helideck operational status and acceptability. which may retain class for world-wide operations. Section 5 – Regulatory Requirements and Verification Process This section should briefly set out the regulations. The information that is provided for each document should include the Document number. Title. in the case of FPSOs. a brief statement covering the installation / vessel operator’s existing facilities and operating experience should be included. its support facilities and their areas of involvement. 31 . Section 3 – Documentation Provide listings of key helideck project and vendor design drawings.5. design specifications. MODU or vessel operator's preferred or specific aircraft selection. Additionally. routings and payload expectations. It is therefore essential to identify the classification aspects. Section 4 – Logistics & Operations Philosophy Following a brief introduction. Finally. fabrication. the installation / vessel operator’s requirements for helicopter refuelling. rules.

For example. vessel motions affecting helicopter operations including a motion analysis (when applicable). Section 6 – Design and Operability Review This section should address the whole range of topics relevant to the helideck design and its future safe operation. production processes and helideck / helicopter transportation risk assessments. 2. Verification meetings and the initial BHAB Helidecks review and inspection should be noted. motion limits imposed on FPSOs. Helicopter Landing Area Physical Characteristics This section should address the following list of topics and should clearly demonstrate that each element has been properly considered during the design phase. MODUs and vessels. Similarly where the requirements are exceeded these should also be stated. 3. Helicopter Landing Area Operational Standards Information provided should include the landing area height (vessels should include variations to draught conditions AMSL).which introduce the need to observe international conventions that may conflict with established UK offshore requirements. frequency and velocity distribution. the facility layout and leading particulars. Reference to the outcomes and outstanding work lists should be included. Aircraft Operating and Performance Considerations Data relevant to helicopter types that may use the helideck. It is essential that any reduction or infringement of the dimensional or obstruction clearance requirements set out in CAP 437 is highlighted and full justification given for the anticipated operating limitations. Sub-sections should cover the following: 1. environmental conditions. wind direction. • • • Helicopter Safe Landing Area size Overall helideck size (if larger than the basic safe landing area) 210° Obstacle Free Sector 32 . 4. Production and Operating Environments Includes field / operating location(s).

fittings. 5. Aerodynamic and Process Thermal Effects on the Helideck and Helicopters This is a key section that deals with providing good information for flight crews on the likely adverse flying effects (aircraft handling difficulties and pilot workload) they may encounter from turbulence over the helideck and around the installation / vessel environs during approach. Any deviation must be justified and accepted by a competent agency. Helideck friction surface / helideck net Helicopter tiedown points arrangement. etc.) and thermal sources (from gas turbines. etc. status lights. etc) that are identified during model testing (using physical or CFD methods) should be quantified and fully explained. 6. floodlights.62 'D' from centre of D circle) 0. materials. etc. statements should be made to demonstrate that the design and location of installation / vessel identification markings / signs have been properly addressed in 33 .• • • • • • • • • • • 0. etc. Information should be provided on system design. general helideck and installation / vessel lighting. Estimates of helideck operability should be provided and conclusions drawn in respect of flight safety and the potential for additional operating costs if accepting helideck operational impairment and landing limitations [Ref: 68].83 'D' from centre of D circle) 5:1 Falling Gradient The adverse effects of combined operations on clearances (if applicable) Helideck and landing area design. Perimeter Safety Net Access and Escape arrangements Routine or emergency parking and laydown arrangements (drawings to be provided showing locations and revised obstruction clearances) Helideck drainage. airgap.12 ‘D’ Limited Obstacle Sector (0. equipment selection and lighting performance. The lighting systems will include perimeter and surface lights. process vents and flares. diesel exhausts. landing and take-off. their power sources and control. Potential turbulence (from structures.21 ‘D’ Limited Obstacle Sector (0. Visual Aids It should be demonstrated that helideck and obstruction markings fully meet CAP 437 requirements. Finally. This section should also address helideck and other associated lighting systems.

Helicopter Fuelling Facilities Where helicopter fuelling facilities are provided. but not necessarily be limited to: • • • • • • • • • • Meteorological equipment Communications equipment Helicopter starting unit Safety and information signs and posters Aircraft tiedown equipment Aircraft chocks Windsocks Passengers. baggage & freight weighing equipment Helideck de-icing equipment Safety briefing system.g. Helicopter Operations Support Equipment This section should summarise the many items of helicopter operations support equipment. protection and firefighting philosophy adopted for the helideck landing area (e. helifuel storage and supply). As a minimum. 34 . 7. the following topics should be addressed: • • • • basic system requirements storage requirements bulk capacity and location fuel supply and dispenser systems design and locations.order to eliminate the potential for wrong deck landings.g. operation and maintainability meet relevant offshore regulations and the requirements of CAP 437. Firefighting and Rescue Facilities This section should summarise the detection. equipment selection. 9. Items will include. it should be clearly demonstrated that the systems design. Reference should be made to CAP 437 (side signage) and HSE Operations Notices 14 and 39 [Refs: 24 & 26]. helideck crew protective equipment and breathing apparatus should be included. the identification and control of helideck emergencies) and its support systems (e. 8. Details of rescue equipment.

A ‘HORG’ or Route Guide plate will be generated for the installation. these should be included. This document is a summary of the key points about an installation landing site and is made available to flight crews. the information should be accompanied by a threedimensional digital image. an A3 sized general arrangement drawing should be included clearly illustrating the installation / vessel plan and an elevation (showing the helideck arrangements). MODU or vessel based on information provided to BHAB Helidecks. Examples of route guides are given in UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helidecks [Ref: 49]. 35 . As a minimum. MODU or vessel Operations Manual and Emergency Procedures. where there is a need for notifications to helicopter operators.Section 7 – Matters to be Provided for in Written Instructions This section should include references and information specific to the helideck and its systems that should be embodied in the installation. a ‘draft’ Plate should be prepared (with appropriate graphics and text) to include all the information that will be required in the formally published document. details of the helideck and its helicopter operating criteria and equipment layout. Details should also be included about Flight Information Reporting including meteorological reporting and vessel movement. Also. APPENDICES Appendices should be used where considered appropriate to assist document readability. specific operating procedures or maintenance instructions to be written. Ideally. Ideally.


g. 37 . alongside other competing priorities. 6. etc. a firm commitment is required from the owner or operator to ensure that a good operating environment is obtained for safe and efficient helicopter operations. the designer should make every effort to ensure that the helideck is truly ‘Fit for Purpose’. at each stage in the design process. However.2 Reference Publications and Guidance It should be noted there are only a few authoritative publications that provide general guidance for helideck designs e. They are not in order of priority. A positive management commitment at this stage should ensure that. It is therefore important to give careful consideration to the topics in the following sections. These codes have been identified in Section 4.0 HELIDECK AND FACILITIES LAYOUT 6.2.1 DEVELOPING A HELIDECK DESIGN SPECIFICATION General At the conceptual stage of an installation. 6. CAA Standards.2.2 6. the outcome will always be a compromise with the other activities. The ideal helideck design can rarely be achieved due to an offshore installation. Inevitably. the working environment including vessel motions in the case of floating installations and vessels.6. Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) codes.3 and in Appendix 2. nor exhaustive. drilling. It also identifies experience-based practical requirements for the operation and maintenance of a helideck. and diving operations). MODU or vessel's other activities and priorities (e. proper consideration is made for the future helicopter operations. regardless of the type of facility to which it is fitted.g.1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to identify the topics that should be considered in the design and fabrication of new helidecks and in the modification of existing helidecks. power generation. the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) codes. MODU or vessel design. process.

1 INSTALLATION / VESSEL LAYOUT CONSIDERATIONS Main References CAP 437. 2. MODU or vessel that may significantly affect helideck design. The design therefore needs to be integrated and not regarded as an appendage to the main structure. Clearly define the purpose and characteristics of the installation. Vessels tend to vary quite a lot with bow helidecks either mounted above bridge level or above the foredeck. These implications are typified by flight restrictions (sometimes severe). It s important that the design of the helideck is regarded as a key component of the structure. as well as a primary escape route in an emergency. It is therefore essential whilst developing a specification and obtaining approval for construction to: 1.3. offset outboard.2 General The helideck is a vital support system for all offshore operations.3 6. MODU or vessel owner. 38 . Maintain flexibility of design as far as practicable. Identify all key features of the installation. MODU or vessel on which the helideck will be installed.6. to cater for future changes of use. positioned aft and elevated above the main deck or accommodation block level and. Identify the operating intentions of the installation operator. It is recommended the designer also give careful thought and attention to ‘operational’ criteria. Layouts are invariably established following the basic published ‘landing area’ dimensional minima (i. and have the potential for increased operating expense that may later lead to costly modifications. 6.3.e. allowing for the safe transportation of personnel and equipment. CAP 437). helidecks are generally placed on top of an accommodation module. Failure during design to maximise helideck operability may have far reaching implications during operations. in some cases. Chapter 2 is the starting point for helideck and facilities design in the UKCS. On fixed installations and some floating structures.

normal and emergency hydrocarbon cold venting systems). Consult competent aviation specialists. fires or fuel spills requiring a rapid response and therefore unimpeded helideck access • The potential for personnel contact with main or tail rotors whilst on deck The potential for loose items of equipment being sucked into rotors or air intakes by structure induced turbulent airflow or rotor downwash Consider provision of protected stations for helideck crews to avoid danger from possible crash debris or rotor plane movement after landing. or reduce as far as possible. routine or emergency.g. since this is a design decision. turbine exhausts. 4. on a NUI) and therefore a decision is made not to install any helideck lighting. Identify and eliminate. which may cause helicopter handling problems • • Obstructions in the approach or departure sectors Emergencies such as helicopter crashes. the aviation or logistics staff of the Owner or Operator. BHAB Helidecks and helicopter operators as necessary.g. but are not necessarily limited to. The CAA might point out that. • • 39 .For example a consensus decision is made to operate helicopters only by daylight (e. the following: • Excessive windflow turbulence due to adjacent structures or process thermal effects (e. they will not permit any emergency evacuation flights at night and the HSE will therefore need to see a Safety Case which does not involve helicopters for night use of any kind. the hazards associated with helideck operations. 3. the CAA. These hazards may include.

structural loadings and economics of the final structure.3 Helideck Physical Characteristics The helideck structure should be designed to accommodate a safe landing area (‘D’ circle) suitable for the largest and heaviest helicopter that it is anticipated will use the helideck. freight and baggage handling. ‘D’ is the imaginary circle described on drawings to establish the SLA dimensions and clearances for a selected helicopter (See CAP 437). shape and configuration.6. Also.4). the SLA should be positioned toward an appropriate outboard edge of the main structure so that overflying installation structures is avoided. helideck crews and passengers should also be taken fully into account.3. and maintenance requirements • The need to provide a parking area for an unserviceable helicopter to make the landing area available for a ‘recovery’ aircraft should be seriously considered. This facility may be operationally desirable where alternate landing sites / arrangements cannot be easily obtained. MODU or vessel and the helicopter crews. To do this. size. and there are adequate clear landing and take-off sectors available • Safe passenger access to and egress from a helicopter in both normal and emergency situations in all weather conditions Safely performing routine helideck crew activities such as refuelling. the following factors should be properly considered and mitigated: • The safe landing area (SLA) should be positioned for optimum operational efficiency and clearance from obstructions (See Section 6. it is prudent for the designer to explore potential opportunities for enlarging the shape of the helideck beyond the minimum safe landing area requirement. The operational needs of the installation. When selecting and fixing the final helideck size. • 40 . This obviously needs to be done whilst keeping in mind the ultimate weight. This information is fundamental in any helideck design and will enable designers to determine the minimum overall size of the helideck and safe landing area and the required load bearing strength of the structure. The Safe Landing Area (SLA) is the actual area on a helideck enclosed and delineated by the Perimeter Line marking. The operator or owners’ project and logistics staff should provide this information. fire fighting and rescue.

6 and a selection of actual helideck arrangements is illustrated in the following plates. 6.9 – Figure 6.3. and riser strength and fatigue considerations for the chosen location of the facility will primarily dictate the orientation of fixed installations.Doing this exercise properly will help to determine the overall helideck dimensions that are required. they have greater operational flexibility when optimising helideck orientation and movement for the prevailing winds.3. as a result.11 – Jack-up drilling rig with cantilevered helideck.3. The actual helideck arrangements shown are not necessarily optimum helideck designs without any operating restrictions.4. Simple examples for developing helideck configurations are given in Section 6.2 FPSOs and Vessels Ship-shaped FPSOs and Vessels generally have the ability to move their heading into the weather and.4 – Figure 6.5 – Figure 6.4 Helideck Orientation 6.10 – Fixed platform (NUI) with cantilevered helideck Accommodation vessel with helideck above buoyancy legs and anchor winches (also note the provision of 2 helidecks) FPSO with aft mounted helideck Drilling / Production ship with bow mounted Helideck (above bridge) Seismic vessel with foredeck mounted helideck Seismic vessel with aft mounted helideck Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) with helideck Inboard of the buoyancy legs and anchor winches Figure 6. 6.8 – Figure 6. topsides. over and above the safe landing area. Reference should be made to Section 10 where this topic is discussed in detail with respect to helideck environmental effects. 41 . This feature is addressed in more detail in Section 7.1 Fixed Installations The jacket.6 – Figure 6.7 – Figure 6. Figure 6. Potential hydrodynamic and wind loadings on the structure have to be taken into account during design for the predicted oceanographic and environmental conditions likely to be encountered offshore.4.

1 Introduction Having decided upon the initial layout and before proceeding further with detailed design.3. helideck systems and support equipment.g.) requirements. winds and waves). 6. However. This tends to cause some loss of flexibility for orienting the helideck to optimise wind flows.g. Examples of modifications that could affect operability include the construction of an additional accommodation or other module and provision of satellite dish nearby. are effectively the same as fixed installations when determining the helideck orientation. in this mode of operation there will usually be a choice of operational helideck.3. 6.6. a review may be necessary to assess the effects of any new plant and equipment on the operability of the helideck.2 New Designs and Modifications to Existing Installations The following sections of these design guidelines address in detail operational considerations. the designer should examine operational effectiveness of the proposed arrangements with respect to both physical (space and other material aspects) and with respect to potential environmental effects. Floatels) are positioned for combined operations there is a need to integrate several key marine (e. etc.5. For existing installations that are being modified. Jack-ups and other Semi-Submersibles (e. The designer may draw on this information for new installations in order to achieve a detailed design that follows good industry practice based on practical considerations that are supported by field experience. 42 . anchoring) and operating (bridging. in the Northern North Sea. Jack-Ups and other Semi-Submersibles MODUs and Jack-ups.3.4. When MODUs.5 Assessing Suitability of the Proposed Helideck Arrangement 6.5. This situation is addressed in more detail in Section 7.3. when operating alone. The marine.g. drilling and other operational positioning considerations will take priority. the preferred orientation for a MODU is about 300° True because this is where the most severe weather comes from (e. For example.3 MODUs.

6. 43 .3 Helideck Environmental Considerations Section 10 of these design guidelines deals with assessing the potential effects on helicopters from aerodynamic and thermal environments and wave motions that may be encountered around offshore helidecks.5.3.

2 – Accommodation vessel with helideck above buoyancy legs and anchor winches (note the provision of two helidecks and large hangar facility between) 44 .(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 6.1 – Fixed platform (NUI) with cantilevered helideck (Photograph courtesy of Shell Exploration & Production) Figure 6.

(Photograph courtesy of Conoco UK Ltd) Figure 6.4 – Well test / production vessel with bow mounted helideck (above bridge) 45 .3 – FPSO with aft mounted helideck (Photograph courtesy of Amerada Hess Limited) Figure 6.

5 – Seismic vessel with foredeck mounted helideck (Photograph courtesy of Western Geco) Figure 6.6 – Seismic vessel with aft mounted helideck (note: the streamers are deployed and the helideck perimeter safety net is raised to act as handrailing – with the handrailing in raised position the helideck is inoperative) 46 .(Photograph courtesy of Western Geco) Figure 6.

(Photograph courtesy of Dolphin A/S) Figure 6.8 – Jack-up drilling rig with cantilevered helideck 47 . which will incur operating restrictions). (Photograph courtesy of Maersk) Figure 6.7 – Mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) with helideck inboard of the buoyancy legs and anchor winches (Note: this is a poor arrangement due to the significant 5:1 infringement.

12 (see also previous sections that address the need to optimise helideck layout).6.4 6. ample clearance from structures.g. etc. The SLA is the area of a helideck that is contained within the WHITE Perimeter Line. Where helideck space is limited and the windflow is over the bow.4. Where the overall size of the helideck structure can be made larger than the SLA the designer is strongly recommended to take full advantage of any extra space that is available to maximise separation of the SLA from any adjacent structures and possibly to create a ‘run-off’ (parking) area.1 THE SAFE LANDING AREA Main References CAP 437. 6. overshoot and take-off paths. ‘D’ is the largest dimension of the helicopter when the rotors are turning and in a conventional helicopter with an exposed tail rotor.4. This does not necessarily mean that the SLA will be the largest possible ‘D’ circle that can be accommodated within the overall structural dimensions of a helideck.2 General The safe landing area (SLA) must be big enough to accommodate the largest helicopter that the landing area is intended to serve. Chapter 2. the SLA should be carefully positioned on the helideck to give an obstruction free environment (see Section 4.10 to 6. during helicopter manoeuvres and sufficient space for the helideck crew to operate and passengers to embark and disembark safely. it is the distance from the front of the main rotor tip path to the rear of the tail rotor tip path. the helicopter will land on the helideck with its tail rotor towards the Limited Obstacle Sector (e. Importantly. 48 .7 for details). The SLA should be given full and proper consideration from an operational perspective whilst laying out the helideck arrangement during the conceptual design phase of an installation or vessel. which will provide adequate landing. Helideck enlargement is particularly important on vessels with forward mounted helidecks where any additional space gained to create more forward visual cues for landing is a highly desirable feature. The parameter ‘D’ (overall length) for the chosen helicopter is found in CAP 437 – ‘D’ Value and Helicopter Type Criteria along with the aircraft weight data. Examples of helidecks with various Safe Landing Area arrangements are shown in the following figures 6.

Note ‘D’ circle only covers part of the helideck and 'H' offset 0. 49 . This topic is covered in more detail in Section 7.1’D’ towards outboard edge. NOT TO SCALE Boundary of Helideck Structure (excluding Perimeter Safety Net) H ‘D’ Circle (= SLA) Chevron located at this point Limited Obstacle Sector Figure 6. with more space behind the helicopter and thus.1’D’ towards outboard edge. NOT TO SCALE SLA = Whole Helideck Boundary of Helideck Structure (excluding Perimeter Safety Net) H Chevron located at this point Limited Obstacle Sector ‘D’ Circle Figure 6.vessel superstructure) and the flight crew will be unable to see the helideck surface in front of the nose of the helicopter. Therefore. the provision of greater separation. there is less likelihood for an inadvertent tail rotor strike. Note: 'H' offset 0.9 – Example of a coincident safe landing area and ‘D’ circle extending to the boundary of the helideck structure.10 – Example of a safe landing area extending to the boundary of the whole helideck structure.

Therefore. helicopters visiting offshore installations may become unserviceable and have to shutdown. The ability to park a helicopter on an offshore installation and still be able to use the helideck for other helicopter movements gives much greater operational flexibility.5 6.NOT TO SCALE Chevron located at this point SLA is the area within white Perimeter Line H Boundary of Helideck Structure (excluding Perimeter Safety Net / Handrailing) Limited Obstacle Sector ‘D’ Circle Figure 6.1 HELICOPTER PARKING FACILITIES Introduction In certain instances.e. outside the rotor disc area. Factors that may assist with decision-making on the benefit of providing a parking area are: • The type of facility being designed (i. A helicopter transiting the general area offshore may have an in-flight emergency and be seeking an offshore diversion.11 – Example of a helideck where the structure is larger than the safe landing area thus providing additional clearance from obstructions and greater scope for personnel movement. etc. there may be good operational reasons for wanting to park a helicopter on a helideck but still be able to allow other helicopters to use the safe landing area (SLA). a small vessel or NUI may not be able to accommodate a parking area) 50 . For this reason a parking or ‘run-off’ area should be seriously considered at the outset of conceptual installation / helideck design.5.1’D’ towards outboard edge. Note: 'H' offset 0. 6.

g. there is a need to ensure that: 1. 6.g. The parking area size. This is best achieved by painting the parking area in a contrasting ‘light’ colour. perimeter lighting may be installed around the parking area outboard boundary but it should be a different colour (e. However. Similarly. Also. blue) to the SLA perimeter lighting.2 Main References CAP 437. the parking area should ideally be floodlit.• There may only be limited structural capacity and space options with the intended installation design and layout Capital cost implications may outweigh the potential operational advantages of having a parking area • • Provision of one helideck with a parking area when operating several helidecks within an oil / gas field. The parking area can be clearly distinguished from the SLA. 6. See also Section 11.5. create an unacceptable obstacle environment for the helideck). 51 . Chapter 3. it is important to note that all parking area floodlighting should be adequately shielded to avoid ‘overspill’ onto the SLA with the potential to affect pilot's night vision. dimensions and layout will be entirely dependent upon the space that can be made available. A parked helicopter does not infringe the obstacle protected surfaces for the helicopter landing area (e.5.3 2. In addition. the perimeter line marking and perimeter lights should clearly delineate the SLA boundary from the parking area.3 Design Considerations A parking area should be regarded as an integral part of the helideck layout regardless of whether it is adjacent to the SLA or located some distance away with ready made access to and from the SLA. For night operations.

The positioning of a parked helicopter does not create ‘visual cueing’ problems for incoming flight crews (e.12 – Example of helideck layout with adjacent parking area NOT TO SCALE Perimeter Safety Net Omitted for Clarity H Safe Landing Area (SLA) inside White Perimeter Line PARKING AREA Limited Obstacle Sector Figure 6. 52 .g.NOT TO SCALE Perimeter Safety Net Omitted for Clarity H Safe Landing Area (SLA) inside White Perimeter Line PARKING AREA Limited Obstacle Sector Figure 6. mask flood lighting and status lights).13 – Example of helideck with remote parking area 3.

the parking area is of adequate construction to support the imposed loads (static). etc The helicopter can be readily manoeuvred into the parking position. They should therefore be considered a functional part of an integrated helideck design. 6. Parked helicopter clearances (for each type likely to use the helideck) can be properly demonstrated and verified.3).g. in-field shuttle helicopters and offshore-based rescue and recovery [OBRR] helicopters). 7. Hangar structures will normally be associated with either a second helideck or an adjacent parking area. The positioning of a parked helicopter does not impair access and escape routes. There are adequate tiedown points provided to ensure the parked helicopter can be properly secured. 6.5. 5.4 Hangars On occasion there may be a requirement to install a hangar offshore to accommodate permanently offshore-based helicopters (e. Consideration should also be given to providing two helidecks when hangar operations are planned so that one helideck can always be used in any weather scenario (See Figure 6. Flight 53 . There is likely to be increased turbulent windflows in some sectors and these may seriously affect the overall aerodynamic performance of the helideck. Structurally. 8. it is essential to consider the potential for these combined structures to create adverse aerodynamic effects over the designated SLA. In addition to the general considerations to be taken into account when designing helidecks and hangars (see also Figure 6. Potential turbulence should be modelled and quantified to establish the full extent and effects of any adverse windflows from the structure.4.3). restrictions may have to be applied. operation of firefighting equipment.

Where uninfringed obstacle protection cannot be achieved this is likely to restrict or preclude operations to that helideck. On an existing helideck that.g. Generally.1 . In this case. etc.1 OBSTACLE FREE ENVIRONMENT Main References CAP 437. subject to CAA / BHAB Helidecks assessment and approval.6. A minimum 210° obstacle free sector is required. 6. should maximise the obstruction free sectors available. Its Point of Origin (PO) on the inboard side of the deck is the apex of the chevron (see CAP 437 – Visual Aids).Combined Operations.6. by unusual exception. vessels operating adjacent to fixed platforms and during shuttle tanker operations to FPSOs. lifeboats. radio antenna. no obstructions of greater height are permitted within 1000 metres of the PO. In this case operability may be improved. However. Such items may not exceed 250 mm in height.g. particularly with floating installations (e. does not meet the normal obstacle free sector of 210°.6 6. a check is required to ensure freedom from obstructions within the 210° sector by identifying items that are above deck level. See also Section 8.6. Achieving the obstruction clearances can be a problem.3 Limited Obstacle Sector Permitted obstruction heights should be calculated for the largest helicopter that the helideck is designed to accommodate.2 Obstruction Clearances Viewed in plan and all elevations. etc.6. 54 . the helideck location and orientation in relation to the topsides configuration including modules and structures / appendages such as cranes. flare booms. the increased angle may be declared. as specified in CAP 437. Where the minimum 210° obstacle free sector can be exceeded (e. operability may be compromised. floatels). 6. turbine exhausts. and even then must be restricted to specified essentials such as lighting fittings. By extending a line out from each leg of the chevron. safety net rails. Chapter 3. on a NUI). the accepted angle (less than 210°) should be clearly shown. in some operational circumstances it may be acceptable to permit obstacles within 250 metres of the PO.

This unobstructed space permits the helicopter to descend safely after take off in the event of engine failure. such obstructions must not penetrate an imaginary surface which extends downwards and outwards from the edge of the helideck at a gradient of 1 unit outwards for every 5 units of vertical fall. laydown platforms. 6. it is advantageous to provide a helideck control room adjacent to the helideck.4 Falling Gradient Strict control is required over the size of obstructions projecting from the side profile of the installation / vessel below the helideck.The obstacle height restrictions applied to helidecks are provided in order to maintain safe helicopter rotor clearances. ACCESS AND ESCAPE Main References CAP 437.7. exhaust systems.6. Refer to CAP 437 for specific details. Providing a helideck control room should: • • Assist with the efficient supervision of helideck operations Provide a good location for aeronautical telecommunications equipment 55 .7. communications antenna.5 metre helideck perimeter safety net. so as to pick up climbing speed. 6. single main rotor or tandem rotor). This is shown in CAP 437 – Size and Obstacle Free Environment.7 6. These obstructions are typified by lifeboat arrangements. buoyancy tanks and windlasses and anchor systems (on MODUs).2 Helideck Control Room If project space / weight / cost controls permit.g. Within an outboard arc of minimum 180° (preferably 210°) centred on the centre of the landing area. Chapter 3.1 CONTROL. 6. and lying centrally within the 210° unobstructed arc. The dimensions will vary according to 'D' size and helicopter type (e. The 5 to 1 gradient is measured from the outer edge of the 1.

7. Access and Escape route design is addressed in greater detail in Section 9. a safe and efficient route should be provided for passengers between the helideck and arrival / departure areas.0. The potential orientations of a helicopter positioned on the helideck should also be considered especially with respect to prevailing winds.3 Access and Escape Routes When deciding the normal access and emergency escape routes to and from the helideck. Helideck Structures.• Provide a storage area to ensure crash / rescue equipment is readily available Provide a good location for meteorological and navigation instruments Provide storage for helideck crew personal protective clothing. 6. the control room should have good all round visibility of the helideck and potential helicopter landing and take-off flight paths. • • To be effective. The escape evacuation and rescue analysis for the Offshore Installation should be taken fully into account (see SCR and PFEER requirements).g. Helicopter Landing Officer) in the event of a serious helicopter incident on the helideck. Care is required when designing the control room to ensure that it does not encroach into the obstruction free sectors and that the height is within the height limitations in the limited obstacle sectors. The control room construction should take full account of potential exposure of the occupants (e. but also in consideration of all possible landing directions (See CAP 437). 56 .

7. 57 . or incur severe limitations requiring expensive rework to comply fully. Specialist Vessels may include: • • • • • • Shuttle Tankers Diving Support Vessels Well Intervention Vessels Seismic Vessels Pipelay Barges / Vessels Crane Barges and others. they are required to meet the standards set out in the relevant regulations. However. They will require inspection by the BHAB Helidecks before helicopter operations can commence on the UKCS.1 INTRODUCTION Floating Structures and Vessels account for a large proportion of the day to day offshore activities in UK waters. Failure to meet the required UK standards will either exclude helicopter operations.0 FLOATING STRUCTURES AND VESSELS 7. until such time as they do. the ship’s main functional purpose will sometimes inhibit helideck design. When they enter UK waters on contract they should meet the UK standards required for helidecks and helicopter operations otherwise they are likely to be severely restricted. codes and guidance in order to undertake helicopter operations routinely in UK waters. Floating structures comprise of the following: • • • • • Floating Production and Storage Systems Mobile Offshore Drilling Units Accommodation Vessels (Floatels) Jack-ups on-the move and Specialist Vessels. Many MODUs and specialist vessels are foreign flagged and are certificated to operate on a worldwide basis. Many of these units will have helidecks where the design and construction of such helidecks (particularly on some vessels) tend to be less prescriptive than for fixed installations.

These requirements (over and above those generally applied to a fixed installation) should be fully taken into account when the floating structure. or drill ship) will initially be specified using the IMO MODU Code [Ref: 70] as the basis for design. MODU or specialist vessel is intended to operate in UK waters.2 7.3 Specific Features to Consider in MODU Helideck Design The following sections cover specific topics that are relevant to MODU structures (but differ significantly from fixed installations) and require specific consideration during the design of such MODU structures. 7. could easily mislead a designer into producing an inadequate helideck facility for UK operations. jack-up on the move. They are not in order of importance. Chapter 6.2.Often there is a failure to comply fully with UK standards. This has the effect of reducing commercial value in the worldwide marketplace because many other countries are also applying the same or very similar standards. The following sections deal with the variations to helideck layout and systems that will be encountered when specifying the design requirements for floating structures. the Coastal State may…[specify a larger helideck]’ (MODU Code 13. and the basic deck specified is smaller than that required by ICAO Annex 14 Volume 2 and CAP 437 standards. it is imperative that UK national codes and guidance for helidecks and helicopter operations are referenced alongside the IMO MODU Code. The MODU Code specifications are still very brief and relying exclusively on Chapter 13 of the IMO MODU Code. 7. as in the North Sea.2. IMO MODU Code. Therefore.3). MODUs and vessels. However.2.1 MOBILE DRILLING RIGS Introduction Invariably a MODU (a semi-submersible. It should be noted that helidecks are covered in Chapter 13 of that code. ‘where adverse climatic conditions are prevalent. 7. 58 .2.2 Main References CAP 437.

7. helideck movement (velocity and accelerations as well as heave amplitude) induced by the floating structure should be fully taken into account during helideck and system design and helicopter operations. the dynamic positioning (DP) system. Similarly.2. However when under tow. 59 . Jack-ups The marine operating environment for a jack-up on station is the same as a fixed installation. the helideck conditions are similar to a vessel under way.2. if fitted. In addition to wind speed and direction. See Section 10.2. if fitted. surge and sway due to the vessels dynamic characteristics.3. heave. heave.3.1 Operating Environments Semi-submersibles The marine operating environment for a semi-submersible is similar to a fixed installation insofar as the helideck heading is generally fixed as a result of the anchoring arrangement or. etc. However.3. Vessels The marine operating environment for a drilling vessel ‘on station’ is similar to a semi-submersible insofar as the helideck heading is generally fixed as a result of the anchoring arrangement or.2 Anchoring Anchoring arrangements should be taken into account when locating a helideck. the helideck has a dynamic movement in roll and pitch axes.7. anemometers can be greatly affected by spurious windflows.3 Dynamic positioning Care should be taken to ensure correct positioning of the DP system heading control sensors. surge and sway due to the vessels dynamic characteristics. The locations of windlasses and anchor chains (above sea surface) should be checked to ensure they do not encroach into the obstruction free sectors and 5:1 falling gradient. 7. that may be adversely affected by disturbances from helicopter rotor downwash during landing and take-off. a dynamic positioning (DP) system. it differs from a fixed installation in that the helideck has a dynamic movement in roll and pitch axes. In particular.

Fundamental to any helideck design on a floating structure is the achievement of an optimum safety performance for a moving helideck. A moving helideck requires the designer and the operator to take full account of a number of key issues that require proper resolution during design if the helideck is to offer good operability and safety. If a ‘fall’ is built into a vessel helideck this effectively introduces a pre-fixed ‘list’ onto the helideck relative to the vessel datum. Size is not normally a problem other than the structural and weight considerations associated for example with very large. Semi-submersible. Size and Obstacle Environment Helideck location on MODUs will largely depend upon the type of hull structure employed (e. Normal practice on such helidecks is to camber the deck about a centreline knuckle.5 Helideck Location.3. 7. Therefore the helideck does not need a built-in ‘fall’. roll or pitch). Vessels As a result of vessel trim and motions the helideck should drain naturally toward the drain holes and scuppers.2. these issues involve providing: 60 .g. Camber is generally between 1:100 and 1:50 (0. can induce increased helideck motions.3. even small changes to vessel heading. etc. as is the case with fixed installations. steel plated helidecks rarely remain flat enough to be reliably drained by rig motion alone.2. This ‘list’ has the effect of reducing motion tolerance at the helideck for helicopter landings and the degree of ‘list’ must therefore be added to the recorded motion measurement in the relevant axis (e. 7.15°). elevated helidecks that may have an adverse effect on vessel stability.g.Apart from spurious DP changes potentially causing severe problems for the vessel whilst performing its primary operating task. Depending on the helideck location. These increased helideck motions may suddenly put the helideck out-of-limits for a safe helicopter landing and / or create serious stability problems for a helicopter parked on the helideck.57° and 1. Jack-up or Ship).4 Drainage Semi-Submersibles Despite the best efforts of the builders.

• Semi-Submersibles The helideck is typically located at one corner of the main deck (forward or aft) directly above one of the buoyancy columns and adjacent to the bridge / accommodation. NOT TO SCALE Helideck Overall Size ‘D’ Circle H White Perimeter Line (= SLA) Additional 1500mm working space all round Figure 7. the windlasses and winches for controlling the anchoring system will be directly below the helideck. vessel superstructure) for the helicopter to make a safe landing and take-off Increased space around the landing area to allow safe passenger and helideck crew movements • • Proper provisions for safe personnel access and egress from the helideck irrespective of the rate of helideck movement An accurate means of recording and reporting the actual and predicted movements of the helideck during helideck operations. 61 .g. In this location. It is therefore important to ensure there is sufficient cantilever of the helideck structure over the column and windlasses to avoid infringing the 5:1 falling gradient below the helideck surface. It is also essential to provide sufficient air gap below the helideck structure and above the winches and housings to avoid unfavourable aerodynamic effects over the helideck.• Good tail rotor clearances from obstructions (e.1 – Recommended dimensions for increasing helideck size to provide additional space for helicopter manoeuvring and personnel movement on moving helidecks.

is a prime consideration. Additional space around the helicopter landing area for safe passenger and helideck crew movements and during manoeuvring a helicopter for landing onto the moving helideck. when under tow they are effectively a vessel. In the case of small helidecks with a 'D' circle of 16 metres or less. when on location. it may be dynamically positioned (DP). vessels require their helideck designs to take fully into account the additional measures needed to accommodate vessel movements. where practicable. In particular when under tow. This is because small helicopters (e. Much will depend on the location of the helideck on the vessel and the ability of the vessel to manoeuvre in order to gain favourable wind flows over the helideck during helicopter operations. However. Jack-Ups Helidecks on jack-ups. The provision of this extra perimeter space and with markings based on deck centre along with a minimum of three escape points from the helideck surface will facilitate safer personnel movements.g. they will be the dominant obstructions.1). the position of the helideck relative to the topside structure. potential obstructions and potential flight paths will provide adequate visual cues for flight crews and sufficient clearances for landing and take-off. irrespective of the helicopter type for which the helideck is designed. Alternatively. it is recommended. the legs will be elevated to their maximum height and. as a result. Vessels Similar to semi-submersibles. 62 . and helicopters landing on the helideck (routinely or in an emergency) will require the same design considerations and operational aids as a mobile unit. A Drill Ship featuring a vessel type hull may be typically moored using a conventional widely spread anchor system.Normally. do not need special consideration for vessel movements because they are in effect fixed structures. This should be taken fully into account during helideck design. as noted previously. that the overall helideck size be increased by at least 1500mm around the perimeter of the ‘D’ circle in order to provide additional working space (see Figure 7. the provision of increased working space around the perimeter becomes a necessity. Sikorsky S76) generally have low rotor disc heights and in some wind conditions blade sailing below the height of an average person can easily occur. As a guide.

DP may allow the vessel some heading adjustment into the prevailing wind. if any. wave and current conditions. the helideck and safe landing area layout should be very carefully designed to obtain maximum operating clearances – see Figure 7. dependent entirely on drilling and marine safety priorities. either mounted on the foredeck or elevated above the bridge. A forward mounted helideck. if any.2 – Recommended dimensions for increasing overall helideck size on a vessel with forward mounted helideck to provide additional space for safe helicopter manoeuvring and personnel movement. scope for changing the helideck position relative to favourable windflows once the anchor pattern is set. presents the biggest problems for a helicopter pilot. visual cues available to assist the pilot in making a safe approach and landing. Taking-off is less of a problem.2. Helideck Overall Size NOT TO SCALE H Additional 1500mm working space all round ‘D’ Circle Additional obstruction clearance = 0. (See also CAP 437). This is because there are very few.Conventional anchoring means there is little. and in order to prevent inadvertent tail rotor strikes. The lack of visual cues means that manoeuvring space provided for the helicopter has to take greater account of the proximity of all likely obstructions.5 ‘D’ Limited Obstruction Sector Figure 7. Important naval architecture considerations to be made when designing a forward mounted helideck are: 63 . To do this.

2. This topic should be discussed at an early stage in the project with the MODU or vessel owner in order to obtain a clear understanding of the operating intent. thus severely reducing visual references for manoeuvring the vessel when coming alongside • • A helideck integral with the Foredeck may have the advantage of two access and escape routes toward the rear of the helideck past the natural protection afforded by the bridge structure. 7.2.• A large and therefore heavy helideck structure elevated above the bridge may adversely affect vessel stability A large foredeck mounted helideck (below bridge level) that overhangs the vessel bow will obscure the vessel forward section from the bridge.6 Materials of Construction It should be noted that where aluminium is chosen for the helideck construction. Guidance on helideck manning issues is also provided in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helidecks [Ref: 49]. Generally. Regulation 18. 64 .3. 7. there will be a requirement for installing either passive fire protection measures beneath the helideck surface and on the support structure and / or installing fire shutters / doors to protect the bridge windows and any access points below helideck level. This hatch may constitute a structural ‘soft spot’ and should be regarded as a restricted approach and landing sector which will then require suitable markings to inform the helicopter pilot. full account should be taken of the anticipated helideck manning and fire team composition / emergency response during helideck operations. then reference should be made to SOLAS Chapter II -2 Regulation 18.3. However. and the vessel is to be constructed to comply with SOLAS.8 [Ref: 71].8 requires specific design considerations to be taken into account where the helideck surface is located above the bridge or accommodation areas.7 Firefighting When establishing a helideck firefighting philosophy and designing the fire systems. providing a third means of escape forward will invariably require a forward hatch to below deck.

valves and supports. at times. Therefore. This situation may mean that resupply of foam concentrate cannot be speedily undertaken. All permanently fixed exposed piping systems.3. Where possible. Also. particularly those with forward mounted helidecks (e. Specifying a ‘one-shot’ system should be avoided at all costs. MODUs and specialist vessels will. This arrangement is designed to enable fuel to be decanted from the tanks above a level where disturbed sediments and other impurities may be present. when designing a foam system it should be ensured that the system can be operated from a single control point without having to set or actuate a lot of valves. should be robust. On vessels. For example. on the Foredeck). equipment and hose cabinets may be located behind the ‘bridge wings’ for protection.g. If the owner specifies helicopter fuelling. 7. Where aviation fuel storage tanks (fixed or portable) are installed on vessels and they are unlikely to be completely emptied it is highly recommended that the tanks be equipped with floating suction systems. equipment such as hoses and nozzles should be stored in cabinets that are adequately protected and preferably not placed in exposed locations. etc. 65 .2. provided they are easily accessible during helicopter operations.Where crew numbers may be at a minimum. the foam system(s) should be designed to ensure that it has maximum flexibility for foam sampling and systems testing without contaminating or using a full charge of foam concentrate.8 Helicopter Fuelling Vessel motions constantly agitate liquids in storage tanks. it is probable that the storage of large quantities of foam concentrate is undesirable. with space at a premium. having fire systems available that can be simply operated will be an overriding requirement. For example. the system will require proper consideration during design otherwise the fuel quality may be seriously affected during operations. the design of fire protection systems should take into account the exposure of equipment to the effects of operating in heavy seas. yet consistent with safe helideck operations. operate in remote locations with infrequent vessel and / or helicopter support.

g.2.The use of floating suction systems in transportable tote tanks is not recommended.3. when determining the optimum air gap for a MODU. Therefore.). the likely effect on vessel stability must be fully taken into account. This is due to the potential for airflows under a helideck to generate forces that may significantly increase the overturning moment of the structure for certain wind and ballast conditions. Also. as a result of crane operations.g. pumping and dispensing equipment should be selected to ensure that ingress of sea water into the aviation fuel system does not occur. 7. When empty and in transit the floating suction system becomes extremely vulnerable to damage due to unconstrained movement of the floating assembly (e. 66 . the system components (e.9 Air Gap on MODUs Too large an air gap under the helidecks of a MODU can be critical to vessel stability. Refer to Section 10. Tote Tanks) should be well secured to prevent damage in heavy seas.Example of damage to the floating suction system during transportable tank transit when empty The locations for aviation fuel storage tanks. (Photo courtesy of Shell Aircraft Limited) Figure 7. wave motions.3 . etc.

Note: there is little or no air gap beneath the helideck 7. The unit is generally held at the location on a fixed heading within the anchor pattern. A FPS featuring a vessel hull (e. and Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. VLCC tanker) will be typically moored using a permanent.3. This arrangement tends to allow the vessel heading to ‘weathervane naturally’ into the prevailing wind. when on location in UK waters.2 Main References Lloyds Register of Shipping – Rules for the Design.g.(Photo courtesy of Transocean Inc) Figure 7. (See Figure 7. [Ref: 72] 67 . which include Floating Production. widely spread anchor system that is fixed to a turret arrangement situated forward of amidships. as offshore installations. wave and current conditions.5) A FPS based on a semi-submersible hull is moored using traditional anchor winches and chains located at each corner of the hull.6) 7.3 7.3.4 – Example of a fully clad drilling derrick with bluff sided module below. are classed. (See Figure 7. Construction and Classification of Floating Production Systems.1 FLOATING PRODUCTION SYSTEMS Introduction Floating Production Systems (FPS).

2). These include: • • • • • • • • Operating environment Anchoring Dynamic positioning Drainage Helideck size.3 Specific Features to Consider in FPSO Helideck Design The following sections cover specific topics that are relevant to FPSO structures (but differ from fixed installations) and require specific consideration during the design of such FPSO structures.5 – Schiehallion FPSO (turret moored with aft helideck) 7. and should be considered by the designer. etc. 68 .(Photograph courtesy of BP plc) Figure 7. equipment. Features to consider in design are broadly the same as MODUs (covered in Section 7. Parameters for the design of MODU helidecks that are specific to Floating Production Systems. location and obstacle environment Materials of construction Helicopter fuelling Firefighting.3. The requirements set out below are in addition to those applied to fixed installation helidecks and should be read in conjunction with the sections of these guidelines that deal with structures. are set out in the following sections.

69 . See Section 10. However.3.(Photograph courtesy of Kerr McGee plc) Figure 7.4 Marine Operating Environment 7.1 Semi-submersibles The marine operating environment of a semi-submersible is similar to a fixed installation insofar as the helideck heading is generally fixed as a result of the anchoring system. heave. surge and sway due to the vessel’s dynamic characteristics.4. In addition to wind speed and direction.3. the normal helideck movement (velocity and accelerations) induced by the floating structure must be fully accounted for during both helideck and system design and helicopter operations.6 – Janice ‘A’ FPS based on a semi-submersible hull 7. it differs from a fixed installation in that the helideck has a dynamic movement in roll and pitch axes.

2 Vessels Taking advantage of the ‘natural weathervaning’ characteristics of a turret moored vessel can help helicopter operations by keeping windflows at favourable angles over the helideck. or compromise vessel stability. See Section 10. Additionally.5 Vessel / Helideck Classification / Verification Process The unique nature of an FPSO as a marine structure. Such capability may also be useful in minimising potential hazards due to emissions and turbulence generators. This may not be the case for all wind. therefore the hull and marine systems will be designed and built to ships’ or MODU rules. it is important to consult the appointed Classification Society Ships’ or MODU Rules for Design & Construction and any International 70 . Often the vessel or semi–submersible will retain its ship classification. This feature should be fully exploited by the designer during design. advantages with wind speed and direction across the helideck should normally be obtainable as a result of the ‘natural weathervaning’ that usually holds the vessel heading within a few degrees either side of the vessel’s mean position centreline. Where this is the case. will invariably require close attention to be paid to the helideck classification and verification processes. As in the case of semi-submersibles. This situation only applies where it can be clearly demonstrated that moving the vessel off head does not induce excessive adverse helideck motions (roll.3. wave and current combinations.4. pitch and heave). so as to achieve the best available landing and take-off sectors. the design and construction of its production and utility systems will be subject to the offshore verification process only if designated as an Offshore Installation and deemed safety critical. 7.7.3. where sufficient thruster power is available to move the vessel off head. normal helideck movement (velocity and accelerations) induced by the floating structure must be fully accounted for during both helideck and system design and helicopter operations. the ship’s crew may be able to further improve helideck orientation into the most favourable winds for given approach and take-off sectors. which is classed as both vessel and an offshore installation. The helideck structure will usually be regarded as part of the ships structure. However. However. when optimising helideck location and orientation.

When designing an FPSO that will be operated in UK waters. Landings on bow mounted helidecks may be routinely permitted. Because there are currently some differences between UK and international maritime and offshore requirements. 7.6 Optimising Helideck Location and Layout See Section 10. As a result of these operational limitations. These anomalies will need to be resolved with the appointed Classification Society and Verification Body. helicopter operations will probably be limited during shuttle tanker activities due to the shuttle tanker orientation and obstructions caused by loading hoses.3.7 Shuttle Tanker Operations Helicopter landings on FPSOs during offloading operations may incur operating restrictions for both marine and safety reasons. etc.g.Rules (e. where the helideck is located at the stern of the vessel. 71 . temporarily infringing declared obstacle free sectors. IMO and SOLAS) that have been included in the owners specification for the FPSO. shuttle tanker operations will have a direct effect on helideck availability and this should be taken into account when undertaking helideck operability analyses. 7. However.3. anomalies in the overall certification / verification processes may arise. which deals specifically with helideck environmental effects. helideck certification will require compliance with CAP 437 and not the IMO or other national codes. early in design.

7 – Shuttle tanker activity with an example of helideck approach paths impeded by the tanker. These vessels include: • • • • • Seismic vessels Diving Support vessels Well Intervention vessels Pipelaying vessels / barges Floatels / Accommodation vessels. displacement and function work in the offshore oil and gas industry.(Photo courtesy of Bluewater BV) Figure 7. there may be overriding constraints placed on the helideck design and its operation. Each of these vessel types will have unique capabilities depending on their primary function. design. Many are equipped with helidecks. loading hose and FPSO flare / exhaust plumes. Additionally.4 7. 72 . size. 7. mooring line.1 SPECIALIST VESSELS Introduction A whole range of specialist vessels of varying type.4.

shape and elevation.4. in conceptual design. basic hull and superstructure design. equipment. The requirements set out below are in addition to those applied to fixed installation helidecks and should be read in conjunction with the sections of these guidelines that deal with structures. 73 .4. Space and weight considerations will also dictate the locations (and sometimes capacities) of the associated helideck support systems. it is normally the primary function of the vessel (in addition to maintaining good vessel stability at all times) that will dictate the vessel layout and thus the helideck location.2 Main References CAP 437. 7. these features are given proper consideration. The earlier. Chapter 9. etc.8 – A typical well servicing vessel Depending on vessel size.(Photograph courtesy of Technip Coflexip) Figure 7. size. the more likely the ship designer will be able to provide an efficient and operable helideck.3 Specific Features to Consider in Vessel Helideck Design The following sections cover specific topics that are relevant to specialist vessels (but differ from fixed installations) and require specific consideration during the design of helidecks on specialist vessels. 7.

The primary concern should be to ensure that helideck fire / safety systems susceptible to malfunction during low temperature operations are fully protected.3. when designing a helideck.2).4.3. in the past. The potential for icing conditions to occur and the effects this may have on helicopter operations should be fully taken into account during design and vessel operations. location and obstacle environment Materials of construction Helicopter fuelling Firefighting.Potentially. It also prudent. specialist vessels can operate in many marine and meteorological environments.2 Hinged Helidecks Some vessels are designed with a portion(s) of the helideck hinged to provide a helideck of adequate size or to make way for the primary vessel operation and for 74 .4. several of the parameters and features to consider in design are broadly the same as MODUs (See Section 7. These will include: • • • • • • • • Operating environment Anchoring Dynamic positioning Drainage Helideck size. This is a hazard to both aircraft and personnel safety and should be properly accounted for (See HSE Safety Notice 5/96 [Ref: 22]).1 Icing Conditions In UK waters icing conditions on Installations and vessels will occur occasionally. However. to consider its location in relation to any superstructures that may be affected by ice accretion during low temperature operations. In addition the following topics should also be addressed: 7. Ice falling onto helidecks from superstructures has been reported in the UK. A requirement of CAP 437 is to provide sufficient equipment to adequately deal with snow / ice / frost removal from the landing surface. 7.

Apart from the obstruction hazard. the design and construction considerations for perimeter safety nets.4 Fore Masts At sea it is a maritime requirement for a vessel to have a foremast (e. retractable foremasts are fitted to overcome this problem. Where hinge systems are fitted and they protrude above surface level they should be clearly marked with ‘rectangles’ of painted yellow / black stripes.3 Combined Perimeter Safety Nets / Handrailing Combined perimeter safety nets / handrailing are a common feature on specialist ships such as seismic vessels. Examples of these arrangements include seismic vessels equipped with foredeck and aft mounted helideck structures. Protruding hinges may significantly effect the operability of the helideck. is to ensure that hinge systems do not create a hazard for the helicopter whilst landing and manoeuvring. to display running lights). The performance of these systems may often fall short both as a secure perimeter safety net and as handrailing. where hinge systems protrude above helideck surface level they should be kept to minimum height and be designed such that they offer as small an obstruction as possible. It is preferable to locate hinges on the underside of the helideck however.g. in more detail.3. The primary concern for the helideck designer.coming into port. from a helicopter operations viewpoint. Section 9.4. 7.10 covers. the hinges should also be designed to avoid possible tyre damage.4. Therefore.3. 7. Where a helideck is designed as an integral part of the foredeck structure the foremast will pose an obstruction to helicopter operations. Where a retractable foremast has been specified it is essential to consider and mitigate the following: • The location of the assembly (when stowed) relative to the safe landing area The size and extent of the surface obstruction and potential structural ‘soft spot’ to be avoided by a landing helicopter • 75 .

The effects of these forces on a helicopter can cause sliding and / or tipping which. particularly when the rotors are turning. Therefore. yaw. if excessive. 76 . helideck motion effects and their potential amplitudes should be calculated during the design process and safe operating parameters established. a helicopter is constantly subjected to complex dynamic forces (accelerations) that will have a direct effect on its stability. pitch. heave. Additionally.5 MOTION CONSIDERATIONS AND OPERATING LIMITS All floating structures will encounter motions at the helideck as a result of a vessel’s natural movement whilst afloat. may cause the helicopter to overturn. when stationary on a moving helideck. The effects of any helideck motions (roll. The limits of safe helideck performance should be fully accounted for during operations. surge and sway) have a direct impact on a helicopter flight crew’s ability to make a safe landing and takeoff from vessel helidecks.• Requirements for designation as a ‘restricted sector’ which requires marking in accordance with CAP 437. 7. See Section 10 for further details.

Therefore. Generally this will mean that. The operating aspects of combined operations are covered in detail in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49].1 8. These conditions can seriously affect helicopter handling. the operational clearances and aerodynamics of the helidecks on each of the installations / vessels may be impeded in some way by positioning the additional structures alongside. One or more fixed installations (manned or normally unattended) bridged to each other 77 . this means that specific considerations have to be taken into account during helicopter operations. gas turbine exhausts thermal effects and process flares.8.1. Additionally.0 OTHER INSTALLATION ARRANGEMENTS 8. they are a situation offshore where there are two or more installations / vessels working alongside each other. In turn. any structure located closer than 1000 metres in this sector will present an obstruction to potential flight paths. shuttle tankers) may also cause hazardous flying conditions due to gas releases during process venting. also has the potential to create adverse turbulent and thermal conditions. to some extent. 1000 metres is the required horizontal distance to provide a clear unimpeded 210º Obstruction Free Sector for any operational helideck. increase pilots’ workload and may impact on safe helicopter operations to that helideck. and not necessarily within the obstruction free sector. A structure located within approximately 250 metres of another installation with an operational helideck. The arrangements and configurations defined as ‘Combined Operations’ can vary considerably and are typified by: 1. Adverse turbulent conditions caused by adjacent structures normally emanate from windflows over the structure.g. Essentially. Consideration of the full implications of combined operations and the potential adverse effects on safe helideck operations will be required during design where it is intended to install (permanently or temporarily) an offshore structure (fixed or mobile) in close proximity to another. adjacent structures and vessels (e.1 COMBINED OPERATIONS Introduction Combined operations can take several different forms.

g.1: The Jack-Up and Floatel are temporarily located as part of production / drilling operations. (Photograph courtesy of British Gas Plc) Figure 8. Both the Jack-Up and Floatel helidecks are 78 . all potential effects on the helicopter operating environment shall be closely examined and the effects quantified and recorded.2. In all the above cases where there is a helideck intended to be used for routine operations. 6.1 – Example of complex Combined Operations Notes about Figure 8. 4. FPSOs and loading buoys A floatel bridge linked to an Installation (construction and operations support scenarios) Specialist vessel support operations adjacent to an Installation. A fixed installation (e. 5. 3. NUI) with a Jack-up rig alongside A fixed or floating structure linked to a nearby sub-sea anchored loading buoy (SALM) equipped with a helideck Shuttle tanker operations to FPUs.

it may be decided that the newer structure with a helideck is the ‘operating’ helideck and the other becomes redundant or may be used as a secondary or emergency landing site if it remains accessible. 8. Chapter 6. both with helidecks. In such cases orientation of the structures should endeavour to minimise the potential obstructions to flight paths and to maximise the anticipated and most favourable prevailing winds over their helidecks. 8. 8.3. In this case the ‘closed’ helideck should display a ‘Landing Prohibited’ Marker.1. anchoring dictates the position of MODUs working over a template).1 General Principles Achieving the optimal position for locating a structure adjacent to another and maintaining the required operational clearances for the helideck(s) may not always be possible due to overriding marine. safety and other installation operating constraints (e.2 Main References CAP 437. In the case of two permanently bridged fixed structures.3 Design Considerations Bridge Linking When designing bridge links for a fixed or mobile installation to gain access to another installation the designer should take fully into account the positioning of gangway connection options and their likely effect on helideck operations in relation to impeding all or part of the host installation / mobile unit helideck 210° obstruction free sectors.accessible but the Installation helideck is inaccessible so it is NOT IN USE (Landing Prohibited Marker in position). 79 . In some cases it may be necessary to forego the use of one of the helidecks and to nominate the other as the primary landing site. Relative positions of each helideck 210° Obstruction Free Sector are shown approximately (dotted lines).

3.Clear 210º Sectors MOBILE UNIT Bridge Link NOT TO SCALE HOST INSTALLATION Figure 8. Whether the combined facilities are permanent new build structures. an additional installation to complement existing field facilities or a temporarily located mobile unit. great care should be taken to assess the probable impact on helideck 80 .3 – Example of Bridge Link causing a 210° sector obstruction. See Section 10.1. NOT TO SCALE Obstructed 210° Sector MOBILE UNIT HOST INSTALLATION Clear 210° Sector Bridge Link Figure 8.3 Environmental Effects around Helidecks The environmental effects around helidecks are a key consideration when designing and operating offshore installations in combination. In this case the mobile unit would be designated the active helideck 8.2 – Example of Bridge Link avoiding 210° sector physical obstructions.

During initial design or subsequent modification of installations where additional structures are planned it is imperative that the potential helideck aerodynamic effects are modelled as a complete complex to ensure that any interactions between the installations are fully understood and quantified.1. etc. obstructions). linked by an offloading system (or other such mechanism) or are in close proximity to each other (1000 metres or less). FPSOs and MODUs).4 Safety Cases 8. management organisation and responsibilities and any procedural changes that will have potential impacts on helicopter operations. Jack-Up Rigs and vessels are temporarily bridged together.aerodynamic performance and helicopter operations of one installation in relation to another. helidecks out of use. Flight Crews will use the information for flight planning and flight management purposes. their operations.4. vessel relocations / movements. This information should be passed to the Helicopter Operator / BHAB Helidecks in order for them to make an assessment of the extent and form of any operating 81 .g.1. The Safety Case should reflect all physical aspects of the combined facilities (including interim layout changes. floating structures (e. e.4.1 Permanent Arrangements The Safety Case developed during the initial design (or if later modified) should reflect all aspects of the combined facilities that will have potential impacts on helicopter operations and flight safety. Where it is intended that an additional permanent structure will be installed (within 1000 metres of the other).2 Temporary Arrangements Where fixed installations.1.g. 8. a Safety Case is normally required to address changes to on-board processes and the management of operations. 8. The information in the Safety Case should also be passed to the Helicopter Operator / BHAB Helidecks in order for them to make an assessment of the extent and form of any operating restrictions or limitations that should be applied. the effects on the helicopter flying environment around the combined facilities should be fully re-assessed (whether or not both structures have helidecks).

Initially decide which helideck(s) will be designated ‘Active’ or ‘Inactive’ If one or more helidecks will remain available.1. The Field Operator in conjunction with other Duty Holder(s) and the Helicopter Operator should: 1.restrictions or limitations that should be applied. Also.4 – Example of a temporary combined operation arrangement with a NUI and accommodation vessel bridge linked. 8.5 Management of Combined Operations Helidecks During the management of combined operations the potential may exist for more than one helideck to be available. introduce a combined helideck management organisation in order to appoint the OIM. Flight Crews will use the information for flight planning and flight management purposes. there is the possibility that a helideck(s) will be inaccessible due to the temporary physical arrangement of the facilities or activities taking place thereon. HLO and Radio Operator who shall act as co-ordinator for the combined operations helicopter activities 82 . (Photograph courtesy of Shell Exploration & Production) Figure 8. Note the NUI helideck is ‘INACTIVE’ (Prohibited Landing Marker displayed). 2.

Where it is possible and economically viable to improve these features. should be referred to. 5. Common deficiencies include: 1. where appropriate. etc. obstructions. develop helideck management and emergency procedures that will properly accommodate safe helicopter operations during the temporary works Make provisions for the correct marking of ‘Inactive’ helideck(s) Where appropriate. adverse aerodynamic and thermal effects on flight paths. . 4. 6. etc. it should be done. crane operations. There may be increased passenger and freight flows through the designated heli-admin and increased number of refuels requiring greater fuel stocks to be held on board. etc. Limited or no water available in sufficient quantity / pressure for operating water / foam fire monitor systems to improve fire cover Ineffective bird exclusion devices (generally where there is an established guano problem) so that visual aids become obliterated. Agree any changes to normal operating procedures and. some readily accepted features that are provided on manned platforms to support routine helicopter operations are often not available on NUIs. However. undertake a full assessment of any potential effects from combined operations on the helicopter flying environment (e. fugitive gas emissions.g. or severe limitation to. 8. The lack of.2. some of the services available to the flight crews and intervention teams on NUI operations should be fully investigated and accounted for during design.1 NORMALLY UNATTENDED INSTALLATIONS Introduction NUIs are a unique type of facility that require considerable and proper thought when designing the installation for helicopter operations. vessel movements. friction surfaces 83 2. systems.2 8. To a large extent the design of the basic NUI helideck facility is little different from a manned installation and the sections dealing with structures.) Consider the possible effects on helideck management from increased helicopter movements and make suitable provisions to mitigate these effects.3.

Although recognised as arbitrary. In the event that personnel are to be continuously present on the installation (e. Chapter 3. Limited water available at the helideck for efficient guano washdown and disposal to retain efficiency of visual aids Poor installation (side) and helideck identification signage.2. 8. factors taken into consideration in the definition are the approximate range of VHF radio.g. This situation should be regarded as an emergency and therefore suitable temporary accommodation and provisions should be made available.2 Main References CAP 437.g. The exceptions to these short periods are events where personnel are compelled to remain on board because the means for their recovery to a manned installation or heliport becomes unavailable for any reason (e.2.3.are impaired.2. rapid weather deterioration). for a period in excess of 24 hours) and helicopter operations are to continue for 84 .2.3.g. 4.2 Normally Unattended An installation that is normally unattended is defined as an installation where no personnel are permanently present (See also MAR Regulation 4 [Ref: 6]. a working day). 8.1 Remote Installation An installation should be considered ‘Remote’ if it is more than 40 nautical miles from the nearest manned installation or airport / heliport. often as a result of contamination due to bird guano. line of sight limitations and areas of similar weather conditions. there is increased potential for bird strikes during helicopter movements and increased personnel exposure to guano raising health issues 3. Personnel attending the Installation and working as intervention or maintenance crews do so on a planned or un-planned basis for short periods (e. The distance of 40 NM has traditionally been used by UK helicopter operators as the criterion for the definition of a ‘Remote’ installation. 8.3 Definitions 8.

4 Seeking the Safest and Most Efficient Helideck Design Options for Operations to NUIs The helideck design for a NUI should adopt a similar approach to that used for a manned installation as noted in the general sections of these guidelines. 8.4. or the helicopter is unable to be re-started whilst on deck.2. 85 . shutdown may be permitted. Shutdown is permitted on helidecks that are of sufficient size to allow a second helicopter to land using the special procedures for operations to obstructed helidecks in the helicopter operator’s Operations Manual.5 Equipment Design Considerations 8. etc.5.routine crew changes.2. the installation should no longer be considered normally unattended. that normally have minimal facilities.1 Helideck Layout Considerations If a helideck on a NUl is of a size which does not allow a second helicopter to land in the event that the first becomes unserviceable. 8. Additionally. 8.2.1 General The following are specific design considerations that need to be addressed when specifying systems and equipment for NUIs. the CAP 437 requirements for a normally attended helideck operation should be met in full. Helideck size should comply with the minimum requirements specified in CAP 437. the helideck should be designed to accommodate the weight of the heaviest helicopter intended to land on the installation. Therefore.2. If a crane is available on the installation that is capable of lifting an unserviceable helicopter onto the deck of a supply vessel. The listed topics are in addition to or supplement the more detailed requirements covered in the general sections of these guidelines. BHAB Helidecks will not sanction operations to new-build helidecks that do not meet ‘D’ size minima. are detailed in the following sections. shutdown is not normally permitted. Design considerations that are specific to NUIs.

obstruction) The design of helideck lighting systems is covered in Section 11.8.3 Lighting (helideck perimeter. for the intervention crew members assigned to helideck duties: • • A protective outfit.5.2. 2.5.3 Helideck Net Under normal circumstances. However. floodlighting.5kgs Serious consideration should be given to the provision of a portable foam unit. Every effort should be made to select equipment that will require minimum maintenance. and a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher with engine applicator having a capacity of not less than 22. See Section 11. external power start facilities should be provided. with a minimum capacity of 90 litres and should be fitted with an aspirated branch. 8. provided the helideck friction requirements specified in CAP 437 are fully complied with and it can be demonstrated that the helideck can be kept free of guano contamination.5.2. 8.2. 8.5 Fireman’s Protective Clothing Two sets of the following items of fireman’s equipment should be provided.5. helideck nets are required on NUIs.2.10.4 Firefighting Equipment The following equipment should be available on the installation. Such a unit should be self-contained. boots. there is good reason why a particular helideck net should be removed this may be done.2 Helicopter Start Unit If helicopter shutdown is planned. including gloves. A dry powder fire extinguisher having a capacity of not less than 45kgs.2. if due to special circumstances.5. 1.3. 8. and be readily available adjacent to the helideck. a facemask or hood and a helmet A self – contained breathing apparatus 86 .

5.2. satellite installations near to a manned facility) no weather measuring equipment is required provided that weather patterns do not generally differ from the ‘master’ or nearest manned installation. 8.7 Helicopter Operations Support Equipment The following equipment should be provided. 8.2.5. an acceptable compromise may be to allow the helideck fire crew to wear the survival suit under a suitable knee length fire fighting bunker coat.9 Weather Measuring Equipment For most NUls (e. 1.2. safety harness and lifeline.5. Chocks and tie down straps Scales for baggage and freight weighing (if freight is to be carried) Equipment for clearing the landing area of snow. Whilst every effort should be made to obtain protective clothing that will meet the requirements of both functions.5.6 Crash Tools / Rescue Equipment As per the requirement for manned installations.2. 4.• • A portable battery-operated safety lamp capable of functioning efficiently for a period of not less than three hours A fireman’s axe. 8. 8.g. 87 . Serious consideration should be given to the protective clothing requirements for firefighting (EN469) and the survival suit requirements for helicopter passengers. 2. Implicit in operating guidelines is the requirement to remove the survival suit to don protective clothing for RFF purposes. 3. ice and other debris If helicopter shutdown is planned. a suitable power source for starting helicopters must be available.8 Status Lights For detailed information about status lights see Section 11.

10 Remotely Operated Television System On ‘Remote’ installations when. 8. Barometric pressure (QFE). the visibility should be obtained from the nearest manned facility. equipment capable of providing the following ‘automatically relayed’ information is required. Outside air temperature. full and serious consideration should be given to the provision of a remotely operated television system which is capable of monitoring the helideck and associated areas. Consideration should also be given to the provision of cloud-base measuring equipment. This has merit for maintenance planning and avoiding helicopter landing restrictions.2.For ‘Remote’ installations. • • • Windspeed and direction across the helideck.11. 8. Such a system would be of considerable value in the following respects: • • • Surveillance of the helideck to confirm safe helicopter landing / departure Security of the installation when unmanned Reducing the possibility of wasted flights. illuminated where night operations are planned. All NUIs should be fitted with an automatic bird-scaring device that may be manually switched off during periods when the installation is manned. is an essential requirement for all NUIs regardless of their proximity to the nearest manned facility. the helideck is unsuitable for a landing • Monitoring the ‘build-up’ of guano accumulations where the NUI is used as a roost by seabirds.2. for any reason. 88 . A windsock.5. operations are permitted where a standby vessel is unlikely to be in attendance.5.11 Bird Exclusion Devices Bird exclusion devices are covered in more detail in Section 11. but in the absence of practical automatic visibility measuring equipment. if for some reason.

2.5. This deficiency will obviously effect helideck operability and preclude flights during strong wind conditions. it will not be permissible to conduct operations where a planned helicopter shut down is required.12 Tie Down Points Where insufficient tie down points are provided on the helideck.8. 89 .


The helicopter landing and take-off area and parking area should be of sufficient size and strength and laid out so as to accommodate the largest size of helicopter to be used and to adequately resist impact from heavy and emergency landings. The design engineer should consider all likely design loads and load combinations. as well as during normal operations. The helicopter facilities should have sufficient clear approach and departure paths to enable any helicopter intended to use the landing area to land and take off safely in any wind or weather conditions that permit helicopter operations. CAP 437 assumes that a single engine failure in the hover at 9. The helideck is the foundation on which helicopter operations take place on an offshore installation. The helideck and supporting structure should be designed to withstand the worst likely emergency to be encountered. both normally and in an emergency. weights. It is recommended the designer compiles a database for the helicopters. The landing area should be situated so that it is located on the installation with respect to prevailing wind conditions in such a position that structure-induced airflow and temperature effects are minimised. Helicopter parameters for all of the known helicopters that will operate to the helideck should be obtained from the helicopter manufacturers. noting dimensions. 91 . The helideck and its supporting structure are safety critical elements as a result of their role in emergency evacuation. contact areas etc. Designers should be aware of all of the types of helicopter likely to use the helideck.1 INTRODUCTION This section indicates some of the structural considerations to be taken into account to achieve a satisfactory helideck structural design.9. MODU or vessel.14 metres wheel height (30 feet) is the case among likely survivable cases which would generate the highest vertical rate of decent onto the helideck. and reviews the data as necessary. including projections for likely future helicopter developments. to ensure the helideck design will remain suitable for use in the future.0 HELIDECK STRUCTURES 9.


Such helidecks can: • Potentially reduce personnel. These are: • With the void below the perforated deck surface partially filled with a metal ‘matting’ material. good friction values are only achieved in one direction (e. guano and debris that falls through the perforations.3. This prevents any unburned fuel from igniting. across the ribs). See Figure 9.1 • With a foam spray system installed in channels beneath the open mesh surface to extinguish any burning fuel. • 94 . This tends to be more noticeable in some helicopters with small hover / thrust margins and this will result in a payload penalty The collection of dirt. The surface is perforated to allow liquid to pass through it into drainage trays beneath. • • • Potential disadvantages of perforated surface helidecks can be: • Loss of performance in the hover in ground effect (HIGE).The ‘planks’ have built in friction surfaces formed by ribs on the extrusion surface. may require the replacement of ‘matting’ materials. There are two types of ‘passive’ system.g. helicopter and installation exposure to a major helicopter fire. 9. however. The designer should therefore specify a requirement for the extrusions to be ‘milled’ across the ribs to obtain adequate friction properties in all directions. in the event of an incident Provide a highly effective ‘built-in’ non-slip surface and eliminate the need for a helideck net (fixed platforms only) Significantly enhance the minimum fire safety provisions provided on normally unattended installations Reduce the slipping hazard effects of potential guano accumulations. Often.4 Passive Helideck A passive type helideck can be fabricated from aluminium or steel. The advantages of specifying a helideck design that offers passive fire safety features should be considered. This may be difficult to remove and periodically.

4 9.1 . A competent authority should verify them prior to acceptance as a design option. whilst the helideck will often be fabricated from aluminium sections. Where an aluminium helideck is used in conjunction with a carbon steel structure.Example of a passive helideck surface 9. It needs to be designed to transmit all the helicopter landing loads.4. (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9. environmental.2 Materials It is quite common for the helideck support structure to be fabricated from carbon steel. 95 . and live and dead loads derived from the design of the helideck structure to the primary structure of the installation or the vessel.1 SUPPORT STRUCTURE Introduction The helideck support structure connects the helideck to the main structural steelwork of the offshore installation or vessel. 9. then adequate electrical isolation of aluminium from steel must be maintained.All helideck designs of this type should be fully assessed and tested to demonstrate their passive fire safety performance and structural integrity.4.

the deck weight. For example. the selection of section types. plus environmental loads (wind. or by placards or paint schemes fixed to the structure.6).4. and inertial loads due to installation or vessel movement (where applicable). and acceptability of these. should be provided to users for subsequent operations and maintenance. 9. As well as this.3 Design Helideck support structures should be designed to carry all the loads imposed on the helideck through to the primary structure of the installation or vessel.4. Additionally. either in manuals. The designer therefore has to be aware of the integration of the helideck design with the module design. The helideck support structure will also be used as the supporting structure for appurtenances such as drainage and service lines to the helideck above. need to be considered in the design process. snow and ice). The designer is advised to consult with corrosion experts to provide a connection that satisfies anticorrosion requirements. and that the resulting maximum load cases are used in the design of the support structure. Similarly. 9.Sufficient information on the materials and the isolation methods used. additional safety features 96 . Helideck loads derive from the parameters of the helicopter for which the helideck is intended (landing impact forces and wheel spacing). the effects of live loads and loads arising from parked helicopters (tied down) should be evaluated (See also Section 9. The designer of the support structure should ensure that all appropriate load cases have been applied to the helideck. carbon steel should conform to a code such as BS 7191 Weldable Structural Steel for Fixed Offshore Structures [Ref: 57]. Therefore. it is important that the load cases are accurately transposed to the design conditions for the primary structure to which the support structure will be connected. Materials used in the fabrication should conform to a suitable code. as well as providing a suitable structural connection. as the structural supports for both units may be common. usually the accommodation module.4 Interconnected Modules It will often be the case (and in particular on a fixed offshore installation) that the helideck support structure will be positioned above a module on the deck. latest edition.

6.4. 97 . 9.such as blast walls. the designer should ensure that the structure is as maintenance free as possible and.6 9. may form part of the module design and could also have a bearing on the design of the helideck support structure. walkways and handrailing Drains system Perimeter safety net General. wherever possible.5 Maintenance It is quite common that the helideck support structure will have limited access once installed. easy access should be designed into the structure to facilitate future planned inspection and maintenance. The addition of purpose built anchor points for abseiling inspection access in the future is recommended. The designer also needs to consider the load conditions that can occur during fabrication. A large number of helideck support structures are propped cantilevers. 9. lifting.. and both static and dynamic forces that will be encountered. 9. These appurtenances will include: • • • • • • • • • Fire monitor / access platforms Stairways. ladders.1 LOAD COMBINATIONS AND LOAD FACTORS Introduction Each design code recommends a particular set of load combinations and factors to be considered.5 APPURTENANCES In addition to the design of the primary steelwork of the helideck. loadout and transportation of the helideck. Therefore. the designer also has to consider loads from the appurtenances associated with the helideck. etc. perimeter and flood lighting fixings Tiedown fixings Helideck net fixings Refuelling dispenser skid (if fitted) Communications aerials and meteorological equipment (if fitted to the helideck structure).

The designer may also be asked to design suitable lifting points and sea-fastening points. Any local strengthening should be considered as part of the overall design. The following design load combinations should be considered: • • emergency landing helicopters at rest.

Both combinations should include appropriate serviceability requirements. Helicopter loads should be treated as imposed loads and applied together with other variable loads, permanent loads and environmental loads. Under emergency landing conditions, local deformation of plate and stiffeners may be tolerated provided that the overall integrity and function of the helideck are not compromised. The designer should also give detailed consideration to the case where a helicopter becomes unserviceable (U/S) on the offshore helideck and there is no designated parking area for that helicopter. The U/S helicopter is then required to park on the safe landing area of the helideck which will then encroach on the available safe landing area for making a recovery helicopter landing. The designer should give consideration to the case where the design case helicopter is parked and recovery helicopter is required to land on the same helideck and develop suitable load combinations as part of the design exercise for the helideck. On completion of the design exercise, the information relating to the combinations of parked / recovery helicopters shall be included in the Design and Operability Report.


Emergency landing
Variable Loads • • • • Helicopter landing gear design collapse loads Structural response factor for supporting structure Area load Horizontal force as proportion of landing gear collapse load.

Permanent Loads • Self weight of structure and fixed appurtenances.

Environmental Loads • • Wind, snow and ice, etc. Inertial loads.



Normal Operations and Helicopters at Rest
Variable Loads: • • • Helicopter static loads (local patch loads on landing gear) Area load Helicopter tie down loads, including wind loads from a secured helicopter.

Permanent Loads: • Self weight of structure and fixed appurtenances.

Environmental Loads: • • Wind, snow and ice, etc Inertia loads.


Design Loadings
The designer should consider the following design loadings within the load combinations described above for a fixed or floating offshore installation. Helicopter Landing Gear Collapse Loads The maximum dynamic loads from an emergency landing may be determined from the collapse loading of the landing gear. This should be obtained from the helicopter manufacturer. Alternatively, default values may be used for design by considering an appropriate distribution of the total impact load. A single main rotor helicopter may be assumed to land simultaneously on its two main undercarriages or skids. Local patch loads should be used in design corresponding to the configuration of the landing gear. The design landing load is the landing gear load based on a percentage of the helicopter's gross weight. The recommended percentage and helicopter gross weight should again be obtained from the helicopter operator or helicopter manufacturers supplied data. See also Appendices 4 to 13. Structural Response Factor The dynamic load determined as above should be increased by a factor for the structural response of the helideck. This factor will depend on the natural frequency of the deck structure. Unless values based upon particular

undercarriage behaviour and deck frequency are available, a minimum structural response factor should be used. Imposed Area Load To allow for personnel and cargo transfer and snow and ice (in locations where these are possible) for minor equipment left on the helideck, etc, a general area load should be included. The imposed load is uniformly distributed over the entire safe landing area including any solid safety shelves. Horizontal Forces A concentrated horizontal imposed action as a proportion of the MTOW of the helicopter, shall be applied at the main landing gear locations and distributed in proportion to their vertical loading. This shall be applied at deck level in a direction to produce the most severe loading conditions for the elements considered. Self Weight of Structural Members The self-weight of the helideck supported by the member concerned should be included with the appropriate load factor. The self-weight is the weight of decking, stiffeners, support structure and accessories supported by the member or substructure being considered. The designer is recommended to make a conservative estimate of this load at the start of the design process and to then confirm the dead load at the end of the detail design to verify the accuracy of the design. Environmental Loads Helidecks on mobile installations must be designed for gravity and inertial forces due to the unit’s motions and accelerations. Additionally, sea pressure and green sea loads on the support structure may need to be considered. The designer should make reference to the loading criteria used for the design of the vessel to ensure that all loading resulting from vessel motions and external wave loading will be fully allowed for in the design of the helideck. The designer should take full account of wind loading on the helideck structure. Wind loading cases should include pressure, lift and side loads, helicopter landing side loads from Section plus wind load at the limiting wind speed for helicopter operation and, for the helicopter on deck case, side loads for deck and


helicopter at the maximum environmental wind velocity considered. Wind velocity should be taken as the 3-second gust at helideck elevation above sea level. Wind load may be determined in accordance with the guidelines set out in BS 6399 Part 1 Wind Loads [Ref: 58].


Friction Surface
An adequate non-slip surface should be provided for the whole of the helideck to ensure the safe movements of both helicopters and personnel. The designer should therefore properly consider the helideck surface materials of construction and specify the correct and most appropriate friction surface for the helideck as a whole and in particular the safe landing area, irrespective of whether a landing net will be fitted.


Main References
CAP 437, Section 3.8.


Design Considerations
All materials, coverings or coatings used to provide a non-skid surface should be structurally fastened to the helideck or bonded with an adhesive agent that is not chemically altered in the presence of fuel, oil and the effects of guano. This includes both specialist paint systems used with aggregates and pre-formed / coloured non-slip tiling systems.


(Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited)

Figure 9.2 – Example of a tiled friction surface

In the case of extruded aluminium construction an adequate non-slip profile (effective in all directions) should be specified as part of the surface structure. Alternatively, a high friction paint system should be specified. It should be noted that where new, unpainted aluminium helidecks are exposed to prolonged periods of strong sunlight high surface temperatures are likely to be experienced. It is recommended that a high friction paint system be applied to mitigate these effects. The non-slip requirement for helidecks also includes all the helideck markings. Therefore, these should be applied using a specification similar to the helideck surface.


Helideck Landing Nets General Requirements Generally, helideck landing nets should be fitted on all helidecks on offshore installations and vessels operating on the UKCS. Exceptions can be made, subject to BHAB Helidecks acceptance, for some fixed installation landing nets to be removed where the helideck meets the ongoing friction requirements specified in CAP 437.


The removal of helideck nets is covered in detail in Section 9.7.6. Main References CAP 437, Section 3.8. Helideck Net Specification The helideck net should be manufactured from sisal rope (not nylon) and tautly stretched with knotted or locked splice joints. Rope and mesh dimensions are specified in CAP 437. It should be noted that, generally, helideck nets are initially manufactured as a square assembly. Sometimes it may be found that the helideck is of hexagonal shape and the position of markings prevents the setting down of a square net in a manner that allows proper positioning, fixing and the use of tensioning devices. Where this is the case, the shape of the net should be altered. To ensure that only proper modifications are made to the basic net construction, the supplier should make any changes to the shape of the net. Fitting and Routine Maintenance The net should be maintained in good condition, adequately tensioned, and positioned to cover the aiming circle completely, while leaving the name identification, helideck size and allowable mass markings outside the netted area. As a general guide, it should not be possible to raise any part of the net more than approximately 250 mm above deck level when applying a vigorous vertical lift by hand. The importance of maintaining adequate net tension, despite regular changes that occur due to water saturation and drying–out cannot be overemphasised. It is essential to ensure that it is never possible for the helicopter’s undercarriage to become trapped.


Helideck Net Fixings
When a helideck landing net is fitted, fixings should be installed to secure the net properly and an adequate net tensioning system provided. The fixings should be designed and dimensioned so that the tension strops lay flat on the helideck surface. The sole use of ropes is considered an inadequate means for tensioning the net.


They may be: • Simple ‘loop’ or ‘hook’ bar fixings welded between the deck surface and upstand.It is preferable for the helideck net fixings to be fixed equidistant around the perimeter of the helideck. • Ideally the net should be capable of being positioned correctly (centrally over the landing circle) and evenly tensioned from all sides. or Purpose made pad eye or ‘floating’ ring fittings welded to the deck.6. Depending on the shape and size of the helideck.3 to 9. Examples of different types of fixings are shown in Figures 9.3 – Tensioning system for net with perimeter hook system (arrowed) 104 . except where they would present trip hazards at the head of access stairways onto the helideck. this may mean permanently securing the landing net on one or two sides and tensioning from the remaining sides. (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.

(Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.5 – Floating ring type fixings welded to deck surface 105 .4 – Pad eye type helideck net fixings welded to deck surface (arrowed) (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.

6 – Hook type net fixings (arrowed) It is best to avoid installing a helideck net fixing system: • That has fixings on the helideck surface beyond the perimeter. Routine tensioning will be very difficult and time consuming. However. an assessment may be required in order to demonstrate that the risks are acceptable. 106 .6 Helideck Landing Net Removal The removal of helideck nets is not permitted on mobile installations or vessels save in exceptional circumstances and with BHAB Helidecks acceptance. These will be additional ‘trip hazards’. such an arrangement may be unavoidable on very large helidecks • That does not allow adjustable strops to be used to tension the net routinely That relies on a rope tensioning arrangement.7. In the case of skidded helicopters. • 9. Nets may constitute a particularly serious hazard to skidded helicopters. the fitting of nets is subject to the specified requirements of the helicopter operator. To achieve this acceptance.(Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.

8. provides flight crews with a good reference (visual cue) of the height above the helideck and the closure rate. 107 . there may be a case for retaining nets on some offshore helidecks. Net removal will eliminate this valuable visual clue. when landing. it is imperative that the designer fully understands the global picture and takes into account a number of general considerations.8 9.2 Main References CAP 437. the surface friction will be subject to routine re-testing. CAA Paper 98002 [Ref: 42]).1 ACCESS AND ESCAPE Introduction Access to and from helidecks is a topic that requires proper and detailed consideration in order to avoid major problems arising during operations. and restricting the clearance of spilt fuel. such as passenger trip hazards. The enhanced friction surfaces may include tiling systems that to some extent still provide visual cues for landing due to the ‘grouting lines’ being visible from the air. particularly at night when many other visual clues are absent. obscuring deck markings. After approval has been given to remove a landing net. This approval for net removal is generally limited to fixed installations.There are. however. the periodicity will depend on the results achieved from previous friction tests (See CAP 437 – Friction Requirements for Landing Area Net Removal. When planning access and escape systems for the helideck during design. operational disadvantages with installing helideck nets. 9. 9. From a flying perspective. Chapter 3. The appearance of the three-dimensional mesh from some distance above. These operational disadvantages have prompted owners of fixed installations to move towards providing and maintaining enhanced friction surfaces in lieu of helideck nets.8. Approval to remove the helideck net will only be given if the friction surface achieves average surface friction values (see CAP 437) using an approved testing device.

etc • • • • • • • • Provision of efficient passenger controls Sufficient space for.9. • 108 . and ease of laying of. but are not limited to: • Limiting the steepness of accessways to assist safe personnel passage in high winds and where excessive motions are present • Providing the most direct route for the primary access from the heli – admin office Being able to secure the helideck properly from un-authorised or inadvertent access during helideck operations.8. Features to be considered in detail should include. fire hoses Easy and unrestricted access to rescue equipment Easy stretcher access Easy access for freight handling Easy access for baggage handling Separation of passenger movement from refuelling operations Provision of good clearances from helicopter tail rotor position for deck crew and passengers • • The need to accommodate aircraft positioning in various wind directions The need to avoid infringement of the 5:1 obstacle protected surface.3 Access – General Considerations Access considerations will need to take account of the helideck location relative to the accommodation areas or temporary refuge and whether the helideck is to be installed on: • • • a fixed structure a mobile installation or FPSO a vessel.

8. in particular the tail rotor area Easy access and quick arrival at a place of safety below helideck level Positioning of escape routes so as not to impede rescue operations One escape route can be a ladder system if a platform and stairs proves to be an unworkable option • Fireman and helideck crew escape from monitor platforms should access to the helideck be cut-off Vessels with helidecks on the foredeck may be unable to provide a tertiary escape other than via a hatch system to below deck. The designer should take advantage of this option. monitor / access platforms should be designed to provide protection for the helideck crew during aircraft movements Ensure monitor / access platforms are big enough for fire equipment and passenger access without impeding helideck crew working areas. • • • • • 9. The designer should therefore consider what happens if a stricken helicopter compromises the hatchway and attempt to provide alternative options for the tertiary escape • Vessels with forward helidecks will sometimes offer a very good escape route to protected areas behind the bridge.General Considerations • There should be minimum of two primary escape routes from the helideck and preferably three Escape routes should take into account fire monitor positioning and the likely effect of water blast impeding passenger escape • Escape routes should be designed to direct passengers immediately away from the helicopter. and without exceeding the requirements for unobstructed falling 5:1 gradient as stated in CAP 437 • 109 .4 Escape .8.5 Platforms • Where possible.9.

provide collapsible handrails at the head of steps onto the helideck.7 and 9.• To assist with safe passenger movements. • (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.7 – Folding handrail erected and locked with pins (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.8 – Handrail in lowered position 110 . The design should be kept simple and robust. See Figures 9.8 Ensure that monitor / access platforms are well lit.

Standard height handrailing is acceptable in benign weather conditions. It is preferable to have intermediate landings • The head of stairways onto the helideck should be provided with folding handrails Ladders for normal access are unacceptable Similar to walkways. where possible. ease of movement between different levels and to provide adequate personnel protection • Where possible.9. • • 9.7) Long. very steep stairways should be avoided. • • • 111 .5 metres) to allow for easier baggage.8. stairways should have highsided handrail systems particularly where the outboard helideck access routes are likely to be exposed to high winds and on vessels subject to wave motions. the primary access route from heli-admin should be made as wide as possible (say 1. protected walkways to and from the helideck to assist personnel during adverse weather.7 Stairways and Ladders • The primary helideck access stairways should be designed with extra width where possible • All stairways and ladders should be designed in accordance with a recognised specification (See Section 9. but may not provide additional security for passengers in high wind conditions. stretcher and freight handling Wherever possible provide high sided.6 Walkways • Walkways should be designed to provide maximum protection for helideck crew and passengers The design of access and escape routes should be to a recognised specification to ensure sufficient walkway width.8.

On vessels.8. Chapter 3. bottom of stairway).8 Control of Personnel Access to Helideck Designers should provide a means to restrict unauthorised or inadvertent entry to the helideck.9. One end should be permanently secured. Low level. MODUs and floating structures drainage may be assisted by the vessel motions. preferably at the initial entry point (e.9. A helideck with puddling problems can also directly affect the safety of aircraft and personnel and the operability of the helideck when icing conditions are present. 9.1 DRAINAGE Introduction Good drainage of helidecks is important.2 Main References CAP 437. with a hook allowing easy removal at the other end. This operational feature should be taken into account. Water and aviation fuel puddling on the landing surface is to be avoided as it may have an adverse impact during operations. The system used should not be a permanent barrier so as not to impede or prevent personnel escape from the helideck in an emergency.9.g. A simple frangible chain (plastic) with a notice suspended in the centre stating ‘Access Prohibited unless Authorised by HLO’ will suffice. bow mounted helidecks may also be seriously affected by ‘green water’ or spray. Chains should be installed at each point of access to the helideck. This assumes that the scuppers are adequately designed to carry away any standing liquids. Helidecks should therefore be designed to remain free from standing water and fuel accumulations at all times. 9. particularly in an emergency. 112 .9 9.

9. as would be the case in the event of a helicopter crash. However. • • • 9. They are as follows: • • Steel plated .9.9. Regulation 11(a) states that. particularly if the event were to involve a fire. Regulations 9 and 10 of this Annex shall not apply to: ‘(a) The discharge of oil or oily mixture necessary for the purpose of securing the safety of a ship or saving life at sea. 9.susceptible to puddling due to welded plate construction Aluminium Extruded . It is therefore prudent to carefully consider helideck drainage and any restrictions that may be applied.very little surface water retention due to perforated surface design.………’.g. aviation fuel) to the sea in an emergency.tend to remain relatively free of water providing the surface profile allows good run off to the scuppers • Safedeck . MARPOL Annex 1.4 Operational Considerations The helideck drain system should be designed with the following operational requirements in mind: • Good containment (within the confines of the helideck) of burning aviation fuel Rapid and safe disposal of any liquids flowing onto the landing surface Potential for drains system blockages minimised Easy checking and maintenance of the system.3 Environmental Considerations Discharging pollutants from offshore installations.5 Design Considerations The surface selected for the helideck will determine the likely effects on surface drainage. MODUs and vessels is generally considered an environmentally unacceptable practice. 113 . there is currently no prohibition of draining pollutants (e.9.

the scuppers and drain headers should be designed: • For the worst-case event (all monitors operating plus maximum fuel spillage) to ensure that good drainage flow rates can be achieved • With a good upstand around the perimeter of the helideck to prevent accumulations of burning fuel mixed with the water / foam overflowing onto areas beneath the helideck surface With adequately sized scuppers to collect and retain the liquids and then direct them into the drain headers With debris traps to ensure that blocking cannot occur.ICAO Heliport Manual [Ref.9 . the large area of a helideck combined with the need to rapidly clear large fluid volumes from the surface requires a highly effective drains system. Therefore. 54] recommends that a maximum camber of 1:100 be provided on a fixed platform helideck to facilitate drainage. To ensure that the safety of an installation. MODU or vessel is not compromised. These are • • essential and should be removable to facilitate cleaning and maintenance NOT TO SCALE Drain Holes in Upstand Drain Scupper Helideck Surface Debris Guard Liquid Flow to Drain Header Figure 9. vessels and floating structures. Whilst controlling a major helicopter fire and fuel spillage. see also Section 7 for further considerations when operating helicopters to moving helidecks.Typical view of a practical helideck drain construction 114 . In the case of MODUs. monitor operations will lay down massive amounts of water / foam compound.

are critical. • Note: It is usually impractical to consider routing helideck surface drainage into the installation. 9. In some jurisdictions there may be a requirement for the perimeter safety net not to exceed 150 mm above the elevation of the helideck surface.2 Main References CAP 437. 115 . 9.10 PERIMETER SAFETY NET 9. MODU or vessel hazardous drainage system because it cannot accommodate the potentially high volume of fluid flow. etc. 9.3 Design Considerations The overall dimensions.10.10.10. See Figure 9. Chapter 3. The construction materials should be fire resistant or protected. for example.10. This requirement is included in the IMO MODU Rules for harsh environment.• With effective flame traps incorporated to safely carry away ignited aviation fuel including the additional volume of liquid resulting from the use of firefighting media To discharge directly to the sea in a manner that provides adequate protection to the installation. IMO MODU Rules. The dimensions of a perimeter safety net: both the width and height above landing surface. This is because it is necessary for the helicopter to be able to clear the helideck perimeter net in the event of engine failure during take-off. strength and configuration of the helideck perimeter net should be adequate.1 Introduction The helideck perimeter safety net should provide a proper catchment for a person falling anywhere on the exposed perimeter of the deck. MODU or vessel from ignited fuel residues on the sea surface. Other references can be found in the ICAO Heliport Manual.

10. Therefore. Consideration should also be given to protecting the areas adjacent to fire monitor / access platforms. 2. with the exception of access and escapeways.5 Combined Handrail and Safety Nets for Vessels On vessels. helideck perimeter safety arrangements can be comprised of various systems. Where the angle is less than 10° an individual falling onto the net is unlikely to be adequately restrained from falling overboard. Net Panel Support Edge of Helideck Angle not less or greater than 10° NOT TO SCALE Figure 9.10 .Typical details and critical dimensions for helideck perimeter safety net 9. Maximum Width (from edge of helideck) = 1500 mm Maximum Height Above Helideck Landing Surface = 250 mm Spacer to raise net above support. 9. the net should be angled at approximately 10° from the horizontal.The angle of the perimeter safety net relative to the landing surface is also important. but not to the extent that efficient fire monitor operation may be impeded.10. Permanently fixed safety net around the entire exposed area Part of the exposed perimeter equipped with a fixed safety net and the remainder with hinged panels The whole exposed perimeter equipped with hinged panels 3.4 Areas to be protected by Perimeter Safety Net All areas of the helideck perimeter where a person may fall or be blown off the helideck surface must be protected by a safety net. 116 . This includes all the seaboard areas and all inboard areas not protected by handrails. These may include: 1.

4. removable handrail panels may be provided to give additional personnel protection when the helideck is not in use.Typical details of preferred fixings for wire mesh (or equivalent) perimeter safety net panels. 117 . regardless of the selected mesh material.6 Construction and Inspection Considerations The netting should be adequately supported and fixed around the perimeter of the frame(s) and have a good hammock effect. This arrangement is seen on smaller vessels with helidecks on the bow section (not elevated) and some aft mounted helidecks. 2. The extent of helideck use whilst the vessel is under way The degree of exposure to marine crew when they are working on a foredeck helideck area in heavy seas Exposure during routine activities (other than helicopter operations) taking place on the vessel / helideck for instance when rigging up and towing streamers on seismic vessels.11 . 15 x 3 mm Steel Stretcher Bar threaded through mesh Section of net panel frame NOT TO SCALE Figure 9.10. In addition to the fixed perimeter safety net sections. 150 mm spacing Small gap between net panels (may also need to accommodate NDB Loop Aerial support system) 50 mm Grade ‘A’ Plastic Coated Wire Mesh or equivalent. 9. Selection of the preferred arrangements to be used will depend on a number of factors such as: 1. Stainless Steel banding at approx. 3.

3 4 1 2 (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9. causing a 5:1 Infringement within the 180° 5:1 falling gradient. This suggests the net will probably provide only limited outboard restraint for an individual falling onto it.11 above.12 – Polypropylene safety net 3. UNACCEPTABLE. 2. There are several important things to look for when designing or inspecting the perimeter safety net. ACCEPTABLE.12 includes the following acceptable and unacceptable features: 1. Perimeter safety net (polypropylene type) showing a good hammock effect and no supports intruding into the netting that might cause an injury when restraining an individual. UNACCEPTABLE. Wire mesh should be secured at the outer edges with the wire ‘tails’ turned back to ensure mesh integrity is fully maintained. Wire mesh net specification and fixings should be as noted in Figure 9. The left hand NDB Aerial Support is. 118 . The netting should either be wrapped or tied to the support wire at approximately 100 mm intervals. The support angle is significantly less than 10°. The example in Figure 9.Polypropylene netting should ideally be supported on all sides of a panel with a substantial stainless steel wire (plastic covered) threaded through the net mesh. in this case.

particularly on take-off. it is frequently found that the securing ties are too long. Mesh panel intrusion by support members (no spacers to keep net mesh clear of supports). a large section of the net can separate from its frame.This support must be modified so that the support drops straight down within the slope of the falling gradient over the edge of the safety net. The preferred solution on a new build or during a major helideck re-work is to position the aerial supports inboard of the net and between the perimeter net frames. The NDB Aerial Support is raised above the helideck support frame. When laid down the supports should be below perimeter net level. There should only be a small gap sufficient to provide a clearance between the panel frames and. 2. Single point failure of the wire will render the net unserviceable. Any gaps in the panel system should not be of such size as to impair catchment of a falling individual. In the event of a tie breaking and unravelling. equipped with hinged perimeter safety net panels that follow the bow line. NOTE: On helideck inspections. 5. Existence of large gaps at the points where safety net panels abut against each other. to accommodate NDB loop aerial supports. This is generally an acceptable arrangement (a practical solution) on an existing helideck and will be needed in order to retrieve the loop aerial for maintenance. Where a support cannot be immediately modified it will be declared as an infringement in the HLL and may lead to onerous operating restrictions. Mesh panel fixed to frames by a single wire wrapped around the perimeter. 119 . On vessel helidecks. 4. Mesh panel stretched too taut. provision should be made in the design to ensure that large gaps are avoided in both raised and deployed positions. Other unsatisfactory Safety Net features the designer should be aware of are: 1. 4. 3. when fitted.

120 . Quality should be monitored during fabrication process.Example of NDB aerial fixings installed onto an existing perimeter net (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.13 .14 . On square aft helidecks equipped with hinged perimeter safety net panels the design should also include an arrangement that ensures the corners are properly protected when perimeter safety net panels are in the deployed position. (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 9.6.Example of unsatisfactory panel alignment.

Helicopter Manufacturer Data Sheets. This arrangement ensures that the ‘tiedown’ pattern required for securing different helicopter types is adequate for obtaining the correct distribution of loads through the aircraft ‘picketing fixtures’ and for achieving the correct angles of tiedown strops relative to the helideck and aircraft. 9.11. the initial test should be carried out on an identical test panel. due to high winds or excessive helideck motions. 9. 121 .9. Ideally.3 Design Considerations 9. 9.11 TIEDOWN ARRANGEMENTS 9.1 Introduction The tiedown fixings required on helidecks are an important and functional part of offshore helicopter operations safety. A copy of the test document should be kept readily available on the installation / vessel.10.11. During helideck inspections.11. often the date of the last drop test cannot be confirmed.1 Tiedown pattern Proper distribution of suitable tiedown fittings is essential and should comply with CAP 437.7 Perimeter Safety Net Load Testing It is necessary to load test the constructed perimeter safety net system to ensure design and construction integrity. Chapter 3. Generally.2 Main References CAP 437.11. a 75 kg weight dropped from a height of 1 metre. The test can be achieved using a sandbag of suitable weight released from a suspension point above the panel.3. this test requires the net system to be strong enough to withstand. without damage. not a section that is to be installed on an operational helideck. There may be occasions when it is imperative that a helicopter that is parked on the helideck needs to be properly secured to prevent damage to the airframe.

Tiedowns should be designed to accommodate helicopters routinely using the helideck and for helicopters which may use the helideck in case of an emergency. Structural strength Where deck penetrations for tie-down points are located, adequate structural strength should be provided in the helideck surface and the tiedown fittings to accommodate the anticipated loads. Tiedown strops are normally rated in the order of 5000 kg (approximately 11200 lbs). Drainage Adequate drainage of the deck penetrations / tiedown fittings should be provided. The drainage holes should be of sufficient size to avoid blockages and where it is necessary to prevent fuel spillage etc. onto the areas below the helideck, removable plugs should be fitted to seal the helideck surface. Sealing the helideck surface is important where the helideck is mounted above an accommodation area or the bridge of a vessel.


(Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited)

Figure 9.16 – Semi-recessed removable tiedown fitting. Note painted area to provide a reference for re-fitting after removal.


Where tie-down points, net tensioners, perimeter lighting fixtures, etc. have been located, proper attention should be paid to design and equipment selection to eliminate potential trip hazards.



9.13.1 Main References
Reference CAP 437, Chapters 5 and 7.

9.13.2 Introduction
The designer of a helideck should always take due notice of the requirements for future maintenance and inspection work on the helideck. It is recommended that the designer review historical statistical information from previous inspections to determine any causes and trends in maintenance and inspection work, and to allow for identification of any common factors.


The designer should also be aware that the helideck would be incorporated into a fully integrated schedule of inspection on the installation when it becomes operational. On fixed platform installations, it is common practice for a written scheme of examination to be in place. This document maps out a series of inspection tasks that are to be undertaken to a prescribed set of procedures on a similarly prescribed inspection schedule. The schedule is determined by a number of factors including the safety critical rating of the elements of the helideck in question. A structural integrity management contractor will use the output from the final design report produced by the designer to identify safety critical elements on the helideck. It is therefore the responsibility of the designer to ensure that the final design report takes due note of the above point and a paragraph or section is included in the design report which highlights specific areas / tasks recommended for future inspection. The structural integrity management contractor can use this in the future. Similar inspection regimes will be in place for helidecks on other installations such as drilling rigs, vessels etc. The detail design of the helideck structure should also allow for satisfactory access for all maintenance and inspection activities. Access should be considered for both inspection of the main structural elements of the helideck and 'local' access to facilitate removal of components if this becomes necessary during the life of the helideck. The designer should be aware of those helideck elements that will be subjected to detailed maintenance and inspection in the future. These include: • • • • • • • The helideck -supporting steelwork etc Corrosion protection systems Fire protection systems Visual aids - markings and lighting Communications equipment Miscellaneous equipment, de-icing equipment etc Refuelling system (if applicable).

These topics are addressed in greater detail in Section 11.




10.0 10.1

The safety of offshore helicopter flight operations can be seriously affected by environmental effects that may be present around installations, vessels and their helidecks. These environmental effects are typified by structural turbulence, the thermal effects caused by gas turbine and diesel exhaust emissions, hot and cold gas streams and vessel motions. It is vital, in order to ensure the safety of helicopters operating to and from offshore installations and vessels, that the best possible flying environment (minimum turbulence and helideck movement) is maintained. Where, for operational and/or meteorological reasons, ideal flying conditions do not prevail, then flight crews need to have access to as much information as possible on the anticipated turbulent conditions and helideck movements in order to plan or abort flight operations. This section addresses, in detail, the environmental effects likely to be encountered, and provides information on how to identify problems during the design process and ways that these adverse effects can be mitigated.


CAP 437, Chapter 3. CAA Paper 99004 - Research on Offshore Helideck Environmental Issues [Ref: 41]. BMT Report - Helideck Design Considerations Environmental Effects [Ref: 68].


It is almost inevitable that helidecks installed on the cramped decks of offshore structures will suffer to some degree from their proximity to tall and bulky structures, and to gas turbine exhausts and flares. The objective of this section is to help platform designers to create offshore installation topsides designs, and helideck locations, that are safe and ‘friendly’ to helicopter operations and, as far as possible, avoid the ‘environmental’ effects (mainly aerodynamic, thermal and wave motion) which can affect helicopter operations. It is hoped that, if used from


‘day one’ of the offshore installation design process when facilities are first being laid out, this section will prevent or minimise many helideck environment problems at little or no cost to design or construction. Guidance on the design and placement of offshore helidecks has existed for many years in the CAA document CAP 437 [Ref: 40], which contains certain environmental criteria relating to the occurrence of downdraft and higher than ambient temperatures due to exhausts and flares. These criteria were set in order to ensure safe helicopter operations by avoiding these hazards. Where these criteria could not be met, or where pilots experienced other environmental phenomena, an entry has been placed in the Helideck Limitation List (HLL) (previously known as the Installation / vessel Limitation List - IVLL). These entries are specific to particular combinations of wind speed and direction, and either restrict helicopter weight, or prevent flying altogether in certain weather conditions. The HLL system operated by the British Helicopter Advisory Board (BHAB Helidecks) should ensure that landings on offshore helidecks are properly controlled when adverse environmental effects are present. On poorly designed helidecks, severe restrictions may be placed on operations resulting in reduced payloads or cancelled flights. This can lead to significant commercial penalties for the installation operator or vessel owner. Well-designed and ‘helicopter-friendly’ platform topsides and helidecks therefore result in efficient operations, and a saving in cost for the platform operator. A survey based on pilot responses to a questionnaire on workload and safety hazards [Ref: 44] rated ‘turbulence around platforms’ as the largest source of workload and presenting the largest safety risk of all aspects of offshore flight operations. A review of offshore helideck environmental issues [Ref: 41] pointed out that many of the decisions leading to poor helideck performance were made by designers in the very early stages of design, and recommended that it would be easier for designers to get these decisions right if comprehensive helideck design guidance published by industry was available to run in parallel with CAP 437.


MODUs. It is also strongly influenced by other important practical. These effects must be identified. Selection of the best helideck location is therefore invariably a compromise between a number of potentially conflicting requirements. For example.7 but only floating systems experience the influences of wave motions on the helideck as described in Section 10. seismic. quantified and taken fully into account when establishing the operability of a helideck.4.3 to 10. • • aerodynamic effects.4. and wave motion effects.4.g. All offshore installations experience the aerodynamic affects described in Sections 10. The environmental issues described in this section are clearly not the only factors in the selection of the helideck design or location.4 DESIGN ISSUES 10. pipelay). The environmental effects described in this section fall into two classes. floating installations (including semisubmersibles {e.5. diving support.10.1 Introduction The design guidance in this section applies to all fixed installations (manned and normally unattended installations). 129 . FPUs and specialist barges} and vessel hull based FPSOs) and any other specialist offshore support vessels with a helideck (e. Turbulent airflows and thermal effects are in effect 'invisible' obstructions in flight paths around installations and vessels. on many installations the helicopter will be designated the ‘primary means of escape’.g. and so the helideck must be close to the ‘temporary refuge’. safety and regulatory factors. They can seriously affect flight operations onto a helideck.

1 . drilling derricks and exhaust stacks.1).2 Aerodynamic Issues and Criteria Figure 10.4. Platforms are slab-sided. these are bluff • 130 . non-streamlined assemblies (‘bluff bodies’) which create regions of highly distorted and disturbed airflow in their vicinity The flow around large items of superstructure.10. notably cranes. • The flow around the bulk of the offshore installation itself. and helicopters would be able to operate to and from them in a more or less undisturbed air environment. Like the platform itself. Difficulties arise because the wind must deviate around the bulk of the offshore installation causing large areas of flow distortion and turbulent wakes. The effects fall into three main categories (see Figure 10. In isolation they would present little disturbance to the wind flow. and because the installation is also often a source of hot or cold gas emissions.Sketch showing the main elements of aerodynamic flow interaction Helidecks are basically flat plates and so are relatively streamlined structures.

However. These criteria are defined in CAP 437 [Ref: 40] and are taken to be the limiting conditions for safe helicopter operation.3 Plan Location of the Helideck A key driver of the helideck location is the need to provide a generous sector clear of physical obstructions for the approaching / departing helicopter. there is no criterion for the severity of turbulence that can occur in the helicopter flight path. shall not exceed 2oC. The current design criteria are based ultimately on achieving two objectives: • The vertical mean wind speed above the helideck at main rotor height shall not exceed ± 0.4). saying ‘… up to a height above the helideck corresponding to 30 feet plus wheels . research is currently in progress to derive one and later versions of these guidelines are expected to contain such a criterion.rotor height plus one rotor diameter’. and also sufficient vertical clearance for the helicopter to lose altitude in the event of a single engine failure.’ The recommendation in [Ref: 41] is more decision points. CAP 437 [Ref: 40] says ‘…at a height above helideck level which takes into consideration the airspace required above the helideck to accommodate helicopter landing and take .9m/s for a wind speed of 25 m/s. and in most circumstances an appropriate flight limitation should be entered into the HLL [Ref: 69]. 131 . 10.4. NOTE: The issue arises of how high above the landing area these criteria should be applied. It should be noted .bodies. averaged over a 3 second time interval. with a falling 5:1 gradient below the landing area over at least 180o of this arc (see Section 6. If they are exceeded under any conditions then the helicopter operator is to be advised. this equates to a wind vector slope of 2° • The maximum temperature rise. This requirement is for a minimum 210o obstacle free sector. at present. and it is the turbulent wake flows behind these bodies that are important • Hot gas flows emanating from exhaust outlets and flare systems. in the vicinity of the flight path and over the landing area.

Figure 10.2 - Sketch showing the helideck installed over a corner with 50% overhang.

From an aerodynamic point of view the helideck should be as far away from the disturbed wind flow around the platform as possible. This objective, and the 210o obstacle-free sector, are most readily achieved by locating the helideck on a corner of the platform with as large an overhang as possible. In combination with an appropriate elevation and air gap (see Section 10.4.4), the overhang will encourage disturbed airflow to pass under the deck leaving a relatively horizontal and clean flow over the top. It is recommended that the overhang should be such that the centre of the helideck is vertically above, or outboard of, the corner of the installation superstructure (see Figure 10.2.

10.4.4 Helideck Height and Air Gap under the Helideck
The height of the helideck, and the presence of an air gap between the helideck and the supporting module, are the most important factors in determining wind flow characteristics. The helideck should ideally be located at a height above, or at least equal to, all significant surrounding structures. This will minimise the occurrence of turbulence and downdraft downwind of adjacent structures. An air gap, separating the helideck from superstructure beneath it, promotes beneficial wind flow over the helideck. If there is not an air gap under the helideck, then wind conditions above are likely to be severe, particularly if the helideck is mounted on top of a large multi-story accommodation block. It is the distortion of the wind flow around the bulk of the platform that is the cause.


Figure 10.3 - Sketch showing the flow passing under the helideck and clean flow over.

Based on previous research work [Ref: 41] it is recommended that the air gap on production platforms should be in the range 3m – 5m. Helidecks mounted on very tall accommodation blocks require the largest clearance, whilst those on smaller blocks and with very large helideck overhangs tend to require less. For shallow superstructures of three stories or less, such as often found on semi-submersible drilling vessels, a 1m gap may be sufficient. In combination with an appropriate overhang (see Section 10.4.3), the air gap encourages the disturbed airflow to pass under the deck leaving a relatively linear and clean flow over the top (see Figure 10.3). It is essential that the air gap is preserved throughout installation operational life, and does not become a storage area for bulky items that might obstruct the free flow of the air through the gap. NOTE: However, it should be noted that CAP 437 recommends that the helideck height should not exceed 60m above sea level. Above this height the regularity of helicopter operations may be affected by low cloud base conditions.


10.4.5 Proximity to Tall Structures
Offshore installations topsides tend to include a number of tall structures (drilling derricks, flare towers, cranes, gas turbine exhaust stacks etc.), and it is usually impractical to mount the helideck at a higher elevation. All such tall structures will cause areas of turbulent, sheared or downdraft flow downwind that may potentially pose a hazard to the helicopter. The severity of the disturbances is greater the bluffer the shape, and the broader the obstruction to the flow. It is reduced the greater the distance downwind. It should be noted that the location and configuration of drilling derricks can vary during the field life. The derrick position over the well slots can change, and temporary work-over rigs may be installed from time to time. The assessment of the helideck location should take into account the various derrick configurations that are expected to occur during the life of the installation. Clad Derricks A fully clad drilling derrick is a tall and solid structure and generates a correspondingly significant wake. The important flow property of the wake is that it is unsteady and so, if it is upwind of the helideck, it subjects the helideck area to large and random variations in wind speed and direction. A general guide on wake decay from bluff bodies indicates that wake effects largely dissipate within a downwind distance of 10-20 structure widths. For a clad derrick 10 m wide at helideck level, this would correspond to a decay distance of 100-200 m (see Figure 10.4).


Figure 10.4 - Sketch showing plan view of flow behind a clad and an unclad derrick

Consequently it is best if the helideck is not placed closer than 10 structure widths from a tall solid structure such as a clad derrick. However, few offshore installations will be large enough to permit such a clearance to be included in the design, and so the specification of a clad derrick is almost certain to result in a significant operational limitation for helicopters when the derrick is upwind of the helideck. It will be particularly important to try to ensure that the installation is aligned such that this only happens in rarely occurring wind directions (see Section 10.9.4). Unclad Derricks and Cranes Unclad derricks are relatively porous. A wake still exists, but the turbulence is of much higher frequency and smaller scale due to the flow being broken by the lattice elements of the structure. An unclad derrick can therefore be safely located closer to the helideck than its clad equivalent. Ideally the separation between the helideck and an unclad open lattice derrick should be at least 5 times the derrick width at helideck height (see Figure 10.4). Separations of significantly less than 5 derrick widths may lead to the imposition of operating restrictions in certain wind conditions. Crane pedestals and crane booms are also usually of lattice construction, and the same approximate rule can be applied as for lattice derricks. Generally the disturbed flow region will be much less due to the smaller dimensions.

135 Exhaust stacks Gas turbine and other exhaust stacks, whether operating or not, also represent a physical blockage to the flow and create a turbulent wake (as well as the potential hazard due to the hot exhaust – see Section 10.4.6). The same guideline as defined for the clad derricks is recommended, namely, a minimum of 10 structure widths between the stacks and the helideck. If there are multiple exhausts and these are located in close proximity to each other, then it is recommended that the structure width be considered to be the overall span of the group of stacks. Other Enclosed Structures Some offshore drilling rigs include large enclosed structures in close proximity to the drilling derrick (e.g. shaker house). If the height of these structures extends to helideck elevation, then they may give rise to large-scale turbulent disturbances downwind, and should be treated much as for a clad derrick. Lay-down Areas A lay-down area in the vicinity of a helideck poses a number of potential problems to helicopter operations. Bulky or tall items placed in a lay-down area close to a helideck may result in turbulence and or downdraft. The temporary nature of such lay-down areas increases the potential hazard because the helicopter pilots, though perhaps familiar with the installation, may not be expecting turbulence. The platform design should seek to ensure that lay-down areas are significantly below helideck level or sufficiently remote from the helideck to avoid such problems. If this cannot be achieved then it is essential that management procedures are in place to ensure that appropriate limitations are placed on flight operations.

10.4.6 Temperature Rise due to Hot Exhausts
Increases in ambient air temperature are a potential hazard to helicopters. Increased air temperature means less rotor lift and less engine power margin. Rapid temperature changes can also induce engine surge and even compressor stall or flameout.


It is therefore extremely important that helicopters avoid these conditions, or that the occurrence of higher than ambient conditions is foreseen and steps taken to reduce payload to provide an appropriate performance margin. Gas turbine power generation systems are usually the most important source of hot exhaust gases on offshore production platforms, but diesel propulsion or auxiliary power system exhausts on mobile units could also be significant. For certain wind directions the hot gas plumes from the exhausts will be carried by the wind directly across the helideck. The hot gas plume mixes with the ambient air, and the mixing increases the size of the plume, and reduces the temperature (by dilution). Evaluations of likely temperature rise, based on a Gaussian dispersion model and supported by wind tunnel tests, indicate that for gas turbine exhausts with release temperatures up to 500°C and flow rates of 50 -100 kg/s, the minimum distance required before the temperature rise drops to 2oC rise above ambient is in range 130-190 m (see Figure 10.5). Some gas turbine power generation systems may include waste heat recovery systems that have lower exhaust gas temperatures of about 250oC, resulting in reduced minimum distances in the range 90 -130m.

Figure 10.5 - Sketch showing the hot gas plume dispersing, and 2oC rise 130-190m downwind

Except for very large platforms, this implies that regardless of design, there will always be a wind condition where temperature rise above the helideck exceeds 2oC. It is likely to be impossible, therefore, to design a helideck that is compliant

NOTE: Where it is considered necessary to extend the gas turbine exhaust outlets. Test Houses will require project teams and manufacturers to furnish them with full details for the varying load conditions. Many offshore installations have the power generation modules and exhausts located close to the accommodation modules and helideck. it is important for the design project team to consider early on in the project how the installation of extended outlets can reasonably be achieved. This is because the power generation is regarded as significantly less hazardous than drilling or production modules. the exhausts should be sufficiently high to ensure that the plumes are above the helicopter approach path. mass flows and exhaust temperatures for all possible operating conditions. It is important to consider the potential effects on operating performance and extra maintenance requirements caused by extending the gas turbine prime mover exhaust ducts. This can be achieved by trying to ensure that platform layout and alignment direction are such that these conditions are only experienced rarely (see Section 10. particularly in light wind conditions.9. This can be a good location provided that the stacks are high enough. This arrangement is not recommended because the hot plume can rise and disperse in an unpredictable way. In the past. particularly when they are used in conjunction with some waste heat recovery systems (it may result in an increase in back pressure on the turbine). the engineering requirement should be established before firming up the gas turbine prime mover specification(s). under normal operating and maximum output conditions) for a full range of wind conditions is required. The design aim becomes one of minimising the occurrence of high temperatures over the helideck rather than eliminating them. are not wide enough to cause large amounts of turbulence. 138 .4).with the criteria under all conditions. depending on the gas turbine flow rates and temperatures. and do not impinge on the ‘obstacle protected surfaces’. To minimise the effects for other wind directions. it is recommended that the exhaust outlets be no less than 20-30 m above the helideck. Ideally. The helideck should be located such that winds from the prevailing wind directions carry the plume away from the helicopter approach path.e. To achieve this. A complete picture of the exhaust / flare plume and its potential extremities (i. some platforms were fitted with downward facing exhausts so that the hot exhaust gases were initially directed down towards the sea surface.

and that any unforeseen gas releases trigger the automatic activation of the helideck status lights (flashing red). Alternatively it may be triggered manually.7 Cold Flaring and Rapid Blow-down Systems Hydrocarbon gas can be released from the production platform process or from drilling rigs at various times. and this will normally be a good location. The blowdown system on a production platform depressurises the process system releasing the hydrocarbon gas.10. This distance could be anywhere between 200m – 500m depending on vent size. It will normally be designed to reduce the pressure to half. The blowdown system should have venting points that are as remote as possible from the helideck and.4. It is important to ensure that a helicopter cannot fly into a cloud of hydrocarbon gas because: • concentrations above 10% of Lower Flammable Limit (LFL) might cause the helicopter engine to surge or flameout with consequent risk to the helicopter. and so the rig should not accept helicopter flights when well circulation activity is 139 . For a large offshore installation this might require the release of 50 tonnes or more of gas. As with production platforms it is unlikely to be possible to locate the helideck sufficiently distant from the potential gas sources to guarantee 10% LFL or less. Drilling rigs often have ‘poor-boy degassers’ which are used to release gas whilst circulating a well. or to 7 bar. the remainder of the gas will continue to be released from the system. in prevailing winds. It is common to have this vent on the flare boom. • Consideration therefore needs to be given to ensuring that gas release points are as remote as possible from the helideck and helicopter flight path. it should be noted that dilution of the gas to 10% LFL may not occur until the plume is a considerable distance from the venting point. Once down to this target pressure in 15 minutes or less. but a drilling rig is unlikely to release any significant quantities of gas without warning. downwind of the helideck. venting rate and wind speed. in 15 minutes (the API standard). unless there is a sudden major crisis such as a blow-out. A blow-down may be automatically triggered by the detection of a dangerous condition in the production process. and the helicopter poses a risk to the offshore installation because it is a potential ignition source for the hydrocarbon gas. However. Planned gas releases should only occur when helicopters are not in the area.

These motions (see Figure 10. but also by the roll and pitch motions.6 . and can judge whether it is safe to make the landing.Vessel wave motions definition The setting of these operating limits should involve consideration of two aspects: • • motion limits for executing a safe landing.going on.5 SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR FLOATING SYSTEMS AND VESSELS 10. and is relatively easy for the pilot to judge visually. The former is mainly affected by the rate of the heave (vertical) motion. floating installations and vessels experience dynamic motions due to the ocean waves.1 General As well as experiencing the aerodynamic effects and potential hazards outlined above. and can choose the appropriate moment to set the helicopter down. Figure 10. 10. or when there are problems down the well. 140 . Helideck status lights should be connected to the appropriate gas detection systems and automatically initiated.5. and operational motion limits are set in order to avoid unsafe conditions. The pilot can see the movements of the vessel.6) are a potential hazard to the helicopter. and limits for safely remaining on the deck for the period necessary to effect passenger and cargo transfer (usually not more than 10 minutes).

the options available to the pilot in the event of excessive motions building up whilst the aircraft is on the helideck are limited. sway or surge motion experienced can vary considerably. and an assessment of the statistical risk of unsafe motions. and sway motions due to roll tend to increase with helideck height) 141 . Limits for remaining safely on the deck are also much more difficult to judge because they should involve a prediction of the helideck motions over the next 10 minutes. more severe West of Shetland than in the Southern North Sea) The size of the vessel (a small vessel generally tends to exhibit larger and faster motions than a large vessel) The vessel’s motion characteristics (certain hull forms exhibit larger wave motions than others. and indirectly due to the inclination of the helideck (component of gravity due to pitch or roll angle). 10. The severity of the helideck motions and the operational limitations will depend on: • • • • • The wave environment (e. The angle of roll and pitch experienced is the same for all points on the vessel or structure. Furthermore. which can be generated directly by the motion of the vessel (heave. or are sensitive to particular sea conditions) Whether the vessel is moored. Large accelerations can cause the helicopter to slide across the deck or tip over (though these do not at present form part of the limitations applied).2 Wave Motion Characteristics and Criteria The setting of helideck performance limitations due to vessel motion is the responsibility of the helicopter operator as AOC holder.5. The limitations that currently exist apply to both the vertical linear motion (heave) and the angular motions (roll and pitch). surge and sway). but the amount of heave.g. underway or under tow The location of the helideck (vertical motions tend to be greater at the bow and stern of a ship than at midships. and these are published by BHAB Helidecks in the Helideck Limitations List. Currently in the UK offshore helicopter-operating environment the motions limitations for a variety of vessels have been agreed and set jointly by the helicopter operators. It is recommended that vessel owners and designers consult with BHAB Helidecks during conceptional design of new vessels or refits to determine the limitations that are likely to be applied to the class of vessel for given helicopter types.The latter is mainly affected by helideck accelerations. depending on the location of the helideck on the vessel.

The operability of the helideck therefore depends on its location on the vessel or floating installation. 142 .g. an associated wave period (usually either the mean zero up-crossing period or peak spectral period) and a wave energy spectrum. such as the JONSWAP or Pierson-Moskowitz spectrum. roll and pitch motions combine at that location. but may be especially severe at certain wave periods (e.13 for an outline of a method to estimate the downtime.5.5. Standard wave spectral formulae. 10. both longitudinally and transversely. and on how the vessel’s heave. or to physical model testing.1). the latter describing the proportion of wave energy coming from each direction by means of a directional spreading function.3 Sea State Characterisation Sea states are usually characterised in terms of the significant wave height. Helideck downtime will occur whenever the motions of the vessel exceed the criteria (see Section 10. 10. The motion characteristics of a vessel or floating platform may be reliably predicted by recourse to wellestablished computer models.• • The design of the helicopter itself (different motion limits apply to different helicopter types) The time of day (more onerous motion limits are applied to helidecks on smaller ships in the hours of darkness due to the degraded visual cues available to the pilot).5 Helideck Location Dependence The heave motions of the helideck depend on its horizontal location. and may be sensitive to the frequency content of the wave spectrum. at natural roll or pitch periods). NOTE: A new helideck motion criterion is currently under development (see Section 10.4 Vessel Motions and Helideck Downtime The motions of a vessel or floating installation generally become larger as the significant wave height and period increase.5.12.) 10. Wave spectra may be defined as either uni-directional or multidirectional. are commonly used in design to define the way in which wave energy is distributed across the wave frequency range.

The pitching motion of a ship is such that the vertical heave motion experienced by the helideck will generally be much greater if it is located at the bow or stern. This location dependence is particularly marked for ships and ship-shaped installations such as FPSOs. In the case of an FPSO or drillship. As the helicopter is likely to be the ‘primary means of escape’ the helideck needs to be 143 . the location of the helideck is generally determined by factors other than the need to minimise heave motions. Semi-submersible drilling or production platforms. and will be least if it can be located amidships. Helidecks are also often located off the vessel’s centreline. In this case. this is much less important than for a ship-shaped vessel. who are generally accommodated either near the bow or stern. Bow mounted helidecks can also be particularly vulnerable to damage from green seas unless mounted high above deck level. downtime due to wave motions will generally tend to increase because of greater helideck heave motions caused by roll. In some cases they are cantilevered over the side (which provides the benefit of an unobstructed falling 5:1 gradient over at least 180o). However.Areas of larger wave motions on a ship-shaped vessel.7 . The helideck also has to be conveniently located for access by personnel. tension leg platforms and spar buoys tend to have smaller motions at lower frequencies.Figure 10. for example. and whilst the helideck location on a spar or semi-submersible will have an effect on performance. the central deck area is generally occupied by processing or drilling equipment.

In this case there is a marked difference between levels of downtime occurring when the helideck is at the vessel’s bow and stern. and minimum downtime when the helideck is amidships. although there is relatively little variation over the aft part of the ship. Once again. which is usually incorporated into the accommodation.9 illustrates how the helideck location affects wave motion downtime on a small ship (e.g. Variations in downtime in this case are a direct consequence of variations in predicted heave motions.8: Variation in helideck downtime with location along the length of a large FPSO. Figure 10. 144 .8 illustrates how wave motion downtime for a helideck typically varies with its location along the length of a large ship (in this case: an FPSO) when operating in a reasonably harsh environment. a diving support vessel) operating in a moderate sea environment. Figure 10.close to the ‘temporary refuge’. downtime tends to be greatest at the bow and least amidships. Figure 10. Maximum downtime occurs when the helideck is located at the bow or stern.

10. This more stringent requirement is because both helicopter and ship will normally be facing into wind. The heading of a naturally weathervaning vessel depends on the relative strengths and directions of the wind. and either weathervane naturally with the wind. the vessel’s wave induced motions (and therefore helideck downtime) are sensitive to variations in the vessel’s heading relative to waves. wind-generated 145 . A naturally weathervaning vessel has no control over its heading or motions. Dynamically positioned drillships and other offshore construction vessels also often operate with thruster heading control. and pilots landing on bow helidecks will therefore have poorer visual cues to assist their landing. This asymmetry in the downtime curve is not due to any marked difference between the vessel motions at bow and stern. For the latter.6 SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR FPSOs AND DYNAMICALLY POSITIONED VESSELS Most FPSOs operating in UK waters are turret-moored. with the heading invariably selected to minimise the wave induced vessel motions (unless the drilling or construction task demands some other fixed heading). but is rather a direct consequence of the more stringent motion limits for a helideck located at the bow of a small ship than for a helideck at the stern. Whichever heading control strategy is adopted. whereas a thruster-controlled vessel has the ability to choose its heading (within limits).9 -Variation in helideck downtime with location along the length of a small ship. waves and current. or use thrusters to control the vessel heading. and this normally means heading into the waves.Figure 10. the heading is normally chosen in order to minimise the wave motions.


The helideck on a mobile unit is likely to be at a much lower level than the bulk of the fixed platform it is alongside. Certain types of mobile platforms (e. helideck operations to the mobile unit need to be curtailed. a helideck assessment should be conducted to evaluate the effect of one platform on the other. Apart from the physical requirements for an unobstructed 210o obstacle free sector and falling 5:1 gradient (over at-least 180o). when combined operations are to be carried out. All such limitations need to be fully investigated. Consequently the design of the floatel should have the gangway located as far away from the helideck as practicable in order to maximise the available obstruction free sector.g. semi-submersible. illustrating good and poor practice in helideck location. and is therefore likely to experience severe turbulence when downwind. 148 . under certain wind conditions. and also to ensure that turbulence or hot gas plumes caused by the adjacent fixed platform are as distant from the mobile platform helideck as possible. it may be possible to switch from using one helideck to the other depending on the conditions. if optimised. Whatever considerations and choices were made at the fixed or mobile platform design stage.Whilst the detailed arrangements for these combined operations may vary considerably from one circumstance to another (see Section 8. and any hot gas exhausts from one influencing the approach to the other helideck. tension leg platform and FPSO) with examples of each. These considerations are likely to determine that. documented. and clearly this defines the side of the mobile platform that will normally be closest to the fixed platform when combined operations are in progress.8 EXAMPLES OF GOOD AND BAD PRACTICE IN PLATFORM HELIDECK LOCATION This section contains sketches of the main types of offshore installation (fixed jacket. 10. and determine any helideck restrictions that should be imposed. can minimise the need for helideck restrictions during combined operations. this assessment should consider the effect of the turbulent wake from one platform impinging on the helideck of the other. there are certain aspects of design and platform topsides layout that. Where the combined operations have more than one helideck available and a gangway platform for personnel.1). and communicated to the helicopter operators to ensure that the various management procedures to control the use of the helidecks are put into place. flotels) have gangways and/or gangway landing portals. jack-up.

which may cause clouds of rising hot gas to envelop the helideck and helicopter approach path. This is particularly likely to happen in light wind conditions (when helicopter performance is inherently poor). They are not high enough to prevent problems with hot gas exhausts. The only structure above helideck level is the derrick. and are also a significant obstruction to the wind flow over the helideck at certain wind headings. which is unclad.10. A set of four gas turbine exhaust stacks is also located close to the helideck.1 Fixed Installations Good: Helideck is above the level of the surrounding main modules. 149 . and with an appropriate air gap beneath. The helideck has insufficient overhang and air gap. Bad: Two large clad derricks present a major solid obstruction to the wind flow and the helideck will experience serious downdraft and turbulence when downwind. Bad: The installation has downward facing gas turbine exhausts. and therefore likely to produce little significant turbulence at the helideck. Good: The helideck is mounted significantly above the level of all the platform modules.8.

8. which all extend to a height significantly above the height of the helideck.) 150 . (The lack of an air gap is likely to be less significant due to the relatively shallow deck on which it is mounted.Good: Being mounted on the top of a separate accommodation platform and with a significant air gap and overhang. The helideck will experience significant shear turbulence and downdraft when the derrick is upwind. Bad: Helideck is in close proximity to a partially clad drilling derrick and other adjacent solid structures. the helideck is unlikely to suffer from any significant turbulence problems.2 Semi-submersible and jack-up drilling units Good: All semi-submersible drilling units are good from a wave motion point of view unless they are floating at a very shallow transit draft. 10. At operating or survival draft. motions are generally of low amplitude and low frequency.

(Most jack-up drilling platforms have good helideck locations.Good: Good corner helideck location with significant overhang and air gap.) 7 151 . Flare booms for well-test operations are both reasonably distant from the helideck and should be visible when in use. and it is located higher than most of the solid superstructure. Good: The example jack-up drilling platform shown here has a helideck with large overhang and generous air gap. Structures above the level of the helideck are generally porous. Structures close to the helideck are mainly open and porous to the wind.

Bad: The helideck is mounted relatively low on the superstructure and is close to a large solid construction.8. Also the generally open and porous design of the superstructure will reduce wind flow problems. sway and yaw motions are normally at very low frequency.3 Tension Leg Platforms Good: This tension leg platform (TLP) has a high corner location helideck with an air gap. pitch and heave. They are almost zero in roll. which will cause significant downdraft and turbulence when up wind. whilst the larger surge. whilst the larger surge. Bad: The downward pointing gas turbine exhausts directly under the helideck are likely to result in a cloud of hot gas enveloping the helideck in light wind conditions. sway and yaw motions are normally at very low frequency. Upward facing gas turbine exhaust stacks are insufficiently high to ensure that the hot gas plume will pass above the helicopter flight path. They are almost zero in roll. Wave induced motions are generally small for a TLP. Good: Wave induced motions for this tension leg platform motions will generally be small.10. pitch and heave. 152 .

Pilots will have good visual cues for approach and landing. particularly as the vessel usually operates heading into wind. Bad: Gas turbine exhausts pointing down over the side may cause clouds of rising hot gas to envelop the helideck and helicopter approach path. It is also reasonably high compared with the bulk of the superstructure.4 FPSOs Good: The high location of the helideck and generous air gap mean that it is very unlikely to suffer from any aerodynamic turbulence. The high location of the helideck means that vessel roll will be experienced at the helideck as sway motion and acceleration.8. 153 . and is unlikely to experience severe turbulence even though the helideck will usually be downwind. Pilots also dislike bowmounted helidecks because of the lack of visual cues when vessel is heading into wind. If a shuttle tanker can connect to the stern of the FPSO. This is particularly likely to happen in light wind conditions. then the shuttle tanker may violate the helideck obstruction-free sector and the 5:1 falling gradient. Good: Helideck at the stern will experience lesser wave induced motions than if it were at the bow. Bad: The extreme forward location of the helideck means that vessel pitch will be experienced at the helideck as heave motion and acceleration.10.

Good: Good visual cues and clear approach path for head winds. 154 . There will also be good visual cues for the pilot. Bad: The helideck is mounted relatively low. Any shuttle tanker connected to the stern of the FPSO is likely to violate the helideck obstruction-free sector and the 5:1 falling gradient. and when present is likely to violate the helideck obstruction-free sector. As a result landing helicopters are likely to experience turbulence. depending on the roll characteristics and wave conditions experienced. might severely limit helicopter operability. A shuttle tanker can connect to the stern of the FPSO.Good: The helideck cantilevered over the port side of the vessel gives a clear approach and overshoot path that is free of obstructions and should be largely clear of turbulence for head winds. Bad: The highly offset or overhanging helideck location means that vessel roll motion will be manifest at the helideck as heave motion and. and in the wake of the main superstructure. and a sharp reduction in wind speed leading to loss of lift.

the turbulent wake flows and high temperature gas plumes will be blown away from the helideck and away from the helicopter flight path. and how they can be used together to estimate operability and inform the design process (Section 10.1 Expert Visual Inspection The main factors that influence the wind flow conditions over the helideck are the prevailing wind direction and the location of the helideck relative to this direction.9.3 and 10.2. from wind tunnel tests and other modelling methods .2 Wind Flow Assessment 10. for the prevailing wind direction. for the majority of the time.9.2. These data can be used with information about the flow patterns around the platform. This may be appropriate in the very early stages of design.9. and it may be possible to make an upper estimate of the helideck 155 .9. Assessment can be made in a qualitative manner by expert review of the installation topsides and helideck design in conjunction with information on the prevailing wind directions.2. the key statistical properties of the offshore ocean climate (see Sections 10. and the platform wave motions to: • • • Estimate the likely helideck operational downtime Locate the helideck in the best location on the installation to minimise helideck downtime Determine the best compromises between conflicting requirements.9. Ideally. Clearly these weather conditions vary from day to day in a largely unpredictable way.10. The following sections outline methods of assessing the installation properties (from experience.see Sections 10.9.1 Introduction The environmental effects described in this section are influenced by the wind and wave conditions experienced by the offshore installation. 10.10). In this way. and in reporting any likely operating limitations to helicopter operators (see Section 10. it is upwind of major obstructions such as drilling derricks and gas turbine exhausts.9. and data can be obtained which describe their statistical properties. wind speeds and wave heights are both amenable to statistical analysis.1 and 10.4).9 METHODS OF DESIGN ASSESSMENT 10. the helideck should be located so that. However.6).2).9.

guidance. the exhaust velocity to wind speed and the plume inertia force to gravitational force to maintain similarity between the model scale and full-scale exhausts. It is recommended that the frontal area of the model should not exceed 10% of the cross sectional area of the tunnel working section. The latter ratio links velocity with buoyancy and 156 . 10.9. Typical model scales that can achieve this are in the range of 1:100 to 1:200. However.9.2 Detailed Flow Modelling using Wind Tunnels and/or CFD Wind tunnel testing and CFD are the principal tools available for predicting the flow field around a helideck. Wind Tunnel Tests The main objectives of wind tunnel tests in the context of helideck design are to predict the mean velocity and turbulence intensity components as well as the mean and peak temperature rises for a range of wind angles and heights above the helideck.downtime on this basis. Comparison of the results can then be made with the design The model scale should be sufficiently large to incorporate an adequate level of geometrical detail to reproduce the correct local flow features around the platform. At these scales the discrepancies in flow patterns between full-scale and model-scale are generally small.2. The wind tunnel should accurately simulate boundary layer velocity and turbulence profiles representative of the full-scale marine atmospheric wind flow. be sufficiently small to minimise the blockage of the model on the wind tunnel flow.4). Target profiles often used in offshore studies have been defined by NMD [Ref: 65].3 and 10. A high blockage would result in the airflow over the platform being adversely affected by the walls of the wind tunnel. in most cases it is preferable to obtain a quantitative measure using flow assessment (Section 10. Wind tunnels designed to simulate atmospheric boundary layers tend to have very long working sections to enable the boundary layer to be developed and controlled. it is necessary to match the ratios of the exhaust density to ambient density.2). In modelling buoyant hot gas plumes. however. Such wind tunnels should also have a reasonable length of working section continuing downsteam of the model to enable measurements of decaying temperature or turbulence to be made at least one platform diameter downwind. and a calculation of the helideck downtime (Section 10.6). the wind climate (Sections 10. The model scale should.

helium-air) at ambient temperature with a density equal to that of the full-scale exhaust plume. fluid momentum and energy. versatility and robustness compared to other numerical techniques. Among commercially available CFD computer programs. these equations can be solved to obtain averaged quantities for each variable at every grid point in the flow domain.implies that the model test velocities have to be scaled as the square root of the model scale (Froude scaling). A practical alternative is to release a buoyant gas mixture (e. As its name suggests. for a model scale of 1:100. Hot wire anemometry is the most widely used technique although laser anemometry is an alternative. Solutions are achieved within a defined computational domain using numerical techniques. For example. an offshore platform). a full-scale wind speed of 10 m/s is represented by a model test wind speed of 1 m/s. and the ability to run at low speeds with good stability is often important. This scaling requirement imposes a practical limit on the model scale for a specific wind tunnel facility. turbulent. Any gas mixture can be used provided that there is a convenient way to measure its concentration. and is contained within boundaries upon which known values or behaviours of the flow can be defined (boundary conditions). When known boundary conditions are applied. The correct density ratio can be achieved in two ways.g. the domain of interest is sub-divided into many smaller volumes or elements to form a three dimensional grid. Volume averaged values of fluid variables are located at points within this grid. fluid flows by computer.g. the so-called finite volume method has become the most popular. throughout a computational domain which contains a geometrical model of the object of interest (e. 157 . The local density decay of the gas mixture is used as a direct analogue of the temperature decay. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) CFD methods allow engineers to model the behaviour of three dimensional. There are practical disadvantages associated with this method in setting the high temperatures of around 500°C in a wind tunnel. The measurement of wind speeds above the helideck should be carried out using instrumentation capable of resolving velocity and turbulence components. mainly for reasons of computational speed. simultaneous equations. Heated air can be used where the model release temperature is equal to the full-scale temperature. The fundamental aim of CFD is the solution of equations representing the conservation of mass. and local numerical approximations to the conservation equations used to form a very large system of coupled.

momentum and energy conservation equations. as the Reynolds Number and the range of geometrical scales is increased. Both can be directly related to simple statistical properties of the turbulence. so-called ‘grid-independent’ solutions of the numerical formulations of the mass. or to follow procedures that have been established as valid in this way [Ref: 61]. best practice to validate CFD results by comparison with physical measurements. are dominated by the effects of turbulence. Direct and Large Eddy Simulation techniques have shown potential to predict turbulence with reasonable accuracy but are not practical for helideck design due to the excessive computing power and simulation time required. The grid density should be sufficient to fit both geometrical features and flow behaviour (such as shear layers and eddies). However there are a number of approaches for engineering applications that have known ranges of validity and can be used with good judgement. this should extend several platform diameters away from the object of interest in all directions with an extended computational domain in the downstream wake region. Typically. pressures and temperatures. There is no single turbulence model that applies universally to all flows. it modifies the mean flow field velocities. A marine atmospheric boundary layer profile of velocity and turbulence should be generated at the upstream boundary and maintained throughout the computational domain using suitable roughness properties for the sea. Many engineering flows. This becomes more difficult. It is. The overall aim is to achieve. and their ‘quality’ must be such that the numerical approximations used retain their formal mathematical accuracy. The most common approach is to use a RANS turbulence model in which time averaged (or occasionally ensemble averaged. of course. The role of the turbulence model is twofold. Most commonly. a sufficient number of finite volumes (grid density) must be used. for transient flows) values of the flow quantities are solved. and secondly it provides a measure of the turbulence within the flow. as closely as practicable. including platform aerodynamics. The main strengths and weaknesses of each can be summarised as (assuming best practice in each case): 158 . Strengths and Weaknesses of the Modelling Techniques Both CFD and wind tunnel testing can provide key information for the design of offshore helidecks.The extents of the computational domain should be sufficiently large to avoid any numerical influence of these boundaries on the flow around the platform in accordance with best practice guidelines [Ref: 61]. To obtain good quality CFD solutions. this takes the form of the turbulent kinetic energy and the dominant length or time scale of the energy containing eddies. Firstly. nevertheless.

wind tunnel tests can provide reliable flow data for the safe design of particular helidecks. such as peak values.• On balance. 159 . perhaps more likely. neither technique can be said to have been fully validated at full scale CFD results are available for the entire flow field. than with wind tunnel testing. whereas CFD is a tool best employed to provide guidance on the effect of design variations and local flow features Wind tunnel testing will give. poor quality spurious results are easy to achieve with CFD. and the accessibility of this tool makes this. necessary for comparison with helideck design guidance • • Extracting quality estimates for turbulence data from CFD requires specialist expertise in application and interpretation Wind tunnel tests for helideck wind flows are normally not affected by modelling at small model scale (Reynolds Number effects). Wind tunnel data is available at the instrumented measurement locations. directly. although a large number of measurements can be obtained in a relatively short period of time • • Used without sufficient training and experience of the problem in hand. but care should be taken to ensure that this is the case and to suitably condition the experiments if necessary • • CFD can provide results at full-scale flow conditions and hence model consistently buoyancy (Froude Number) and turbulence (Reynolds Number) effects • Although some comparisons with full-scale measurements have been made. measured data for turbulent fluctuations.

Measurements should be obtained at the model position without the model installed • Details of scaling techniques used and experimental conditioning applied to achieve similarity with full-scale.9. instrumentation.3 Helideck Environment Report Contents The helideck environment report should contain the following information as a minimum: Wind Tunnel Report • Details of model design and construction including reasoning for the choice of model scale and associated scaling parameters for replicating full-scale flow conditions Details of wind tunnel set-up. NMD [Ref: 65]). model set-up and data acquisition system Details of the atmospheric boundary layer simulation and comparison of mean velocity and turbulence intensity profiles above sea level with standard target marine profiles (e. instrument calibration.10. • • • • • Computational Fluid Dynamics Report • Details of the CFD model with reasoning for the choice of computational domain. geometrical simplifications. bulk resistance terms) and range of validity of the sub-models employed 160 . enhanced model roughness to achieve Reynolds Number similarity Tabular and graphical presentation of measured data in accordance with the recommendations in Section 10.g.g. computational mesh. e. sub-models (e.10 • Conclusions and recommendations to mitigate any adverse conditions that may impact on helicopter operations Details of quality checks undertaken to ensure the accuracy of measured data and appropriate reference to guidelines on model scale experiments A statement on the estimated error and uncertainty in the experimental data. modelling assumptions.g. turbulence model.2. ESDU.

especially if downward facing exhausts have been utilised. the more severe. NMD [Ref: 65]). sea and platform surfaces) Comparison of the atmospheric boundary layer profiles of mean velocity and turbulence intensity above sea level with standard target marine profiles (e. In benign climates turbulence is unlikely to be a problem but hot gases might still be a hazard. heat sources and surface roughness parameters (e. then the more likely that turbulence and hot gasses from high exhaust stacks will be a problem.9.3 Wind Climate The wind climate is a description of the probability of experiencing certain wind speeds and directions. Data should be extracted from the undisturbed free stream at a location approximately the same distance from the upwind boundary as the model of the facility • • Demonstration of adequate mesh independence through grid resolution sensitivity tests Demonstration of adequate convergence of the final steady-state solution or iterative transient solution at each time step Tabular and graphical presentation of the simulations in accordance with the recommendations of the helideck design guide (see Section 10.g.10) Conclusions and recommendations to mitigate any adverse conditions that may impact on helicopter operations Details of quality checks undertaken to ensure the validity of the computational results including comparisons with available experimental data or empirical methods and appropriate references to best practice guidelines • • • • • A statement on the estimated error and uncertainty in the numerical results.• Details of boundary conditions including the atmospheric boundary layer at the inlet. It can be used to determine quickly if the wind climate is benign or harsh. and if there are any strongly prevailing wind directions. 161 . ESDU.g. The severity of the wind climate is important because. 10.

0 0.5 2.6 1.7 1.9 0.6 0.3 1. The right hand column also shows that this is a relatively severe wind climate with the wind speed (expressed here as Beaufort number) being at Beaufort 7 or above for about 14% of the time.8 0.7 1. The entries in the table represent percentage annual duration for each wind direction and wind speed interval.2 3.4 1.5% of the year. the most probable wind direction is south with a total duration of 16.6 2.6 3. the winds will be from the southern sector.1 0+ 0+ 0. or 60 days.5 0.3 0.4 3.1 0.9 2.5 16.1 2.0 9.1 3.5 3.8 Wind direction (from) NE 0+ 0.1 0.0 0.5 21.11 .5 0.5 1.1 0+ SE 0+ 0.3 3.An example set of wind speed / direction frequency statistics is shown in Figure 10.4 2.1 14.8 1.5 7.3 2.6 3.3 1.8 3.6 0.1 0+ E 0+ 0. Beaufort Number N 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total 11.5 2.2 1.1 0.5%.0 100 Figure 10. This information is sometimes presented graphically in the form of a wind rose (see Figure 10.1 0. This means that for 16.8 0.1 22.3 0+ 10.2 0+ Total 0.2 0.3 2.7 1. 162 .5 1.2 3.5 0.9 1.11.0 2.4 0.5 1. and it should be noted that different geographic locations are likely to have very different wind speed and direction distributions.6 0.0 3. In this case.8 2.1 0+ S 0+ 0.1 1.4 0.0 15.1 0+ SW 0+ 0.2 1.8 2.2 0.1 0.5 16.7 0.1 0+ Var 0.9 14.Example of wind speed / direction frequency table.7 8.4 0.5 1.8 1.5 18.2 2.6 1.3 0.1 0.4 4.1 0+ NW 0+ 0.1 0+ W 0+ 0. The example is for a Northern European location.6 5.12).3 0.0 2.1 0.

5% 16.9% 14. 163 .6% 47.Figure 10.11 10.13 .5°) North-West (292.5°) Probability 16.5° to 292.4% Figure 10.5° with a cumulative probability of 47.1% 14. The prevailing wind directions are therefore defined to be in the range 157.5° – 247.5° – 202. These may be defined as the highest probability directions with a combined probability of occurrence of approximately 50%.9% Cumulative 16.5°) South-West (202.5% (or 173 days in the year).5°) West (247. For example taking the data in Figure 10.11 we can rank the directional sectors as follows: Wind Direction (from) South (157.9.5° – 292.5° – 337.4 Prevailing Wind Direction The wind frequency table or the wind rose can be used to identify the prevailing wind directions.5% 62.12 – Example wind rose presentation of Table 10.5% 32.Prevailing wind directions.

However. 164 . generally the helideck should be located such that winds from the prevailing directions carry turbulent wakes and exhaust plumes away from the helicopter approach path. The balance (or relative weighting) between these considerations will change depending on the wind speed. then the following options should be explored: • • • Rotate the platform to adjust the prevailing wind sectors Relocate the obstructions Relocate the helideck.17 give examples ranging respectively from most to least favourable helideck locations for a platform with prevailing winds from the southwest. If obstructions are located within the prevailing wind sectors. related to wind strength. If they are. which is usually presented in this way). occasionally such data may be presented as directions TO (often to be consistent with wave direction data. An error of 180o in determining the prevailing wind directions is likely to be disastrous for helideck operability. Figure 10. Major items of obstruction.NOTE: It should be noted that wind directions are invariably defined in terms of the direction that the wind blows FROM. For example. Hence there could be a trade-off between turbulence and sideways and backwards manoeuvring. 10. including drilling derricks and exhaust stacks should be outside the areas embraced by these sectors as shown in the figures.9. a pilot could prefer to make a straight-in approach downstream of an obstacle rather than fly a sideways manoeuvre. If there is any doubt about the direction definition then it is essential that the data be checked with the authority that generated or published it. if the turbulence is low.14 to Figure 10. overlay the prevailing wind direction sectors onto the centre of the helideck. To assess if this is likely to be the case. However. then conditions at the helideck are likely to be compliant for 50% of the time.5 Upwind Helideck Location When a pilot selects his approach direction to an offshore helideck he will take into account a number of considerations such as: • • • • • Direct approach wherever possible Clear overshoot available Sideways / backwards manoeuvring minimised Turbulence effects Right versus left seat pilot.

NORTH EAST All obstruction locations acceptable WEST 292.5 degrees Figure 10. To minimise the effects for other wind directions. and an aerodynamic specialist should be consulted. then obstructions should be located as far away as possible from the helideck. it is recommended that the exhaust outlets be no less than 20-30 m above the helideck. the southwest prevailing winds will carry turbulent wakes and exhaust plumes away from the helideck.Most favourable helideck location is at the south corner.5 degrees SOUTH Prevailing directions 157.If none of these are successful.14 . The location also allows intowind approaches to be flown by the Captain for most prevailing wind directions with minimum sideways manoeuvring and a clear overshoot path. To achieve this. Regardless of the location of the obstruction. these should be sufficiently high to ensure that the plumes are above the helicopter approach path. 165 . then a more detailed assessment is required. In the case of the exhaust stacks.

5 degrees Unacceptable obstruction location SOUTH Figure 10. About half the prevailing wind directions will carry turbulent wakes towards the helideck. prevailing winds will carry turbulent wakes and exhaust plumes away from the helideck. The location permits clear into-wind approaches to be flown but many prevailing wind directions will have an obstructed overshoot path. However.Third most favourable helideck location is at the east corner.5 degrees SOUTH Figure 10.15 .5 degrees WEST All obstruction locations acceptable EAST Prevailing directions 157. Like the south location.16 .NORTH 292.Second most favourable helideck location is at the west corner. NORTH 292. the location will require extensive sideways manoeuvring on approach for many prevailing wind directions.5 degrees Acceptable obstruction location Prevailing directions WEST EAST 157. 166 .

and payloads that are less than maximum). However. about half the prevailing wind directions will carry turbulent wakes towards the helideck. 2oC temperature rise etc.17 .). It may be that they will be sufficiently limiting to operations that the cost to the field operator will be too high (this cost being experienced in terms of flights that cannot operate when required. These changes may involve additional capital costs that need to be assessed against the operating penalty. This operating penalty may be avoidable if design changes are made to the helideck. 10.2 are likely to identify combinations of wind speed and direction which result in flow conditions over the helideck that do not comply with the guidance requirements (0. 167 .9. A rational decision can be made about such design changes if a quantitative estimate of the helideck downtime is made and presented to the platform operator. turbine exhausts). Like the east location.Least favourable helideck location is at the north corner. in these circumstances it is important to estimate the likely severity of the flight limitations.2.9. Ultimately the wind speed and direction conditions that lead to these will need to be communicated to the helicopter operator (see Section 10. its location or to other installation topside features (e.292.6 Estimating Helideck Downtime Due to Wind The installation flow studies outlined in Section 10.g. The location permits clear into-wind approaches to be flown but many prevailing wind directions will have an obstructed overshoot path.9m/s downdraft.10).5 degrees NORTH Prevailing directions Acceptable obstruction location EAST WEST Unacceptable obstruction location 157.5 degrees SOUTH Figure 10.

8 3.3 1.4 2.4 3.A wind speed and direction frequency table (see example in Figure 10.2 2.1 0+ S 0+ 0.3 0.3 0+ Figure 10.5 0.4 4.1 0.4 0.8 0.1 0. Adding up all the highlighted values will give the estimate of the total percentage of the time that the helideck will be unavailable for flight operations or where payload limitations may be imposed.2 1.6 0.1 0.6 5.5 1.2 1.8 0.5 1.1 0.5 3.2 3.8 2.2 0.9 1.2 3.0 0.18) can be used to make the estimate of downtime.9 0.4 0. The direct cost and associated inconvenience of these flight limitations can only be determined by the field operator.6 2.1 0+ SW 0+ 0.1 2.7 0.6 1.5 1. In the example the total of the highlighted cells is 14.3% indicating that. Beaufort Number N 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total 11.5 0.5 0.0 100 0+ 0.1 3.5 2.1 0+ Var 0.1 0+ W 0+ 0.1 0.6 1.3 3.3 0.4 1.9 14.0 15.1 0.7 8.2 0+ Tota l 0.5 7.18 – Example wind frequency table showing estimation of total downtime.7 1.1 22.5 16.1 0+ 10.3 2.8 Wind direction (from) NE 0+ 0.7 1.1 14.3 2.0 2.4 0.2 0. If necessary similar assessments may be made on a seasonal basis.5 21.0 2.6 3.5 16. 168 .1 0+ SE 0+ 0.6 0.6 0.3 1.1 1.8 1.7 1.0 0.5 18.1 0.0 3.9 2. on average.1 0+ NW 0+ 0.5 1.6 3. On the frequency table highlight all combinations of wind speed and direction that flow studies have indicated will not fulfil the guidance requirements.8 1.3 0.1 0+ E 0+ 0.8 2. helideck restrictions may apply 1 day in 7.5 2.0 9.

2 below contains recommended formats for the presentation of these results. 10. compared with the 2oC above ambient • recommended limiting temperature criterion. interpreted in terms of the restrictions that will need to be placed on flight operations. Section 10.2 Presentation of Flow Assessment Results for Design Data on helideck flow assessment takes a number of different forms. Although no formal criteria currently exist. In the first instance the results are used in design. it is also sometimes helpful to present: • Longitudinal velocity data at 25m/s free stream velocity (an indication of the extent of shear in the flow).9m/s recommended limiting criterion Air temperature data.3 contains recommended formats for the presentation of this summary information to operators and pilots. and any changes have been taken into account.10. In the future this is likely to be augmented by: • Turbulence intensity compared with a recommended turbulence criterion.10. and they may be used to estimate the future operability of the helideck. and Section 10. They may be used to justify changes to the layout to the installation superstructure and helideck location.10 PRESENTATION OF WIND FLOW ASSESSMENT RESULTS 10. those with defined limiting criteria being: • Downdraft velocity data measured at 25m/s free stream velocity.10. there is a need to summarise and present the data to the helicopter operators and pilots through BHAB Helidecks. and guidance on the range of different wind conditions and other parameters that should be covered.1 General The results of wind flow assessment are used at two quite distinct stages of the development of an offshore installation design. This requires detailed tabulations and plots of the aerodynamic features around the helideck. This ultimately needs to be a concise assessment of the flow modelling results. and compared with a 0.10. 169 .10. When the design process is complete.

20. The lateral surveys should correspond to the worst-case wind directions identified in the polar surveys. then it is likely to be much more useful if presented in terms of True North • Installations such as mobile drilling rigs and FPSOs that can change their heading as a result of the weather conditions or for operational purposes should have their wind heading data presented relative to their primary axis.3).20 and 10. in later stages when data is being used in operability assessments.19 indicate where it was judged that measurements were not required.10. Typical examples of a tabular presentation are shown in the tables in Figures 10.19. or is being prepared for the production of a summary for operations (see Section 10. firstly a detailed level which shows quantitatively the parameters of interest in relation to the acceptance criteria (see Figures 10.21 below).22 to 10. Again the direction of this primary axis should be explicit In all the above. Empty cells evident in Figure 10. However. labelling of tabulations and plots should always include the words wind direction (from) in order to remove any chance of misunderstanding The heading reference being used should always be explicit on every tabulation and plot • For fixed platforms in the early phases of design it may be convenient and useful to present results in terms of headings relative to Platform North. 10.19 and 10. This is • • 170 . and secondly at a simpler summary level. The tables show results for peak temperature rise at a wind speed of 5 m/s but a similar format should be used for other parameters. a small annotated plan view sketch alongside the table or plot should be used to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding by the reader.24). It is recommended that data is presented at two levels. and is plotted or tabulated in terms of wind heading: • The convention is that wind headings are always presented in terms of the heading FROM which the wind is blowing. The tabular presentation of the data should comprise results from a polar survey taken above the landing spot together with results from lateral surveys. which illustrates the extent of non compliance with the limiting criteria as a function of wind speed and direction (see Figures 10. Nevertheless.There are a number of key issues that should be appreciated when this data is presented.

21. with respect to Platform North.24. In these figures. taken to be a practical upper limit for helicopter operation. 15 and 20 m/s. In contrast.22. temperature rise and turbulence data are shown respectively in Figures 10. Consequently for downdraft and turbulence measurements. The absence of shading indicates compliance with the criteria. it is recommended that the lateral survey results be presented also as a contour plot as shown in Figure 10. is suggested. a reference wind speed of 25 m/s. 10.23 and 10. 171 . Examples of such presentations for downdraft. the radial axis is the reference wind speed and the circumference axis denotes wind direction (from). For this re-scaling. a full range of wind direction should be tested.g. To supplement the tables. results should be presented for a range of reference wind speeds e. 5. For temperature rise measurements.often an easy judgement to make for temperature assessments but less so for downdraft and turbulence. downdraft and turbulence can be re-scaled for any wind speed. 10. This is because temperature rise has an unpredictable dependence on reference wind speed. To highlight the wind conditions in which design criteria are exceeded it is recommended that summary data be presented to provide an immediate visual indication.

0 0.5 1.19 .4 4.5 2.0 0.8 9.5 1.3 2.1 0.4 1.0 0.1 0.0 0.6 9.Polar Scan of 3 second peak temperature rise above landing spot 172 .Wind speed at 10 m = 5 m/s Wind direction (degrees from Platform N) 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 195 210 225 240 255 270 285 300 315 330 345 z (m) z (m) Z (m) z (m) z (m) z (m) 5 10 15 20 25 30 3 .5 1.1 0.7 0.8 5.1 0.3 8.1 5.4 0. 15 and 20 m/s Figure 10.3 8.2 0.0 0.0 0.second peak temperature °C MAX 5.2 8.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0. 10.2 8.9 1.1 5.0 0.g.1 0.1 0.6 11.0 0.9 1. For temperature rise data.0 0.9 4.0 0.3 0.7 3.9 0.8 9.6 1.3 8.0 0.7 5.2 11.9 0.3 1. similar tables would be included for other wind speeds e.9 0.3 0.0 0.1 0.0 NOTE: Empty cells denote where measurements were judged to be unnecessary.0 0.0 0.

2 0.1 0.3 0.3 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.9 8.5 5.7 0 0 z (m) 5 1.7 2.1 0.2 4.0 1.2 0.7 0.2 z (m) 30 0.Wind speed at 10 m = 5 m/s Wind direction (degrees from Platform N) = 45 Y (m) -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 z (m) 0 0.2 0.1 7.4 8.0 0.8 6.7 7.0 3.1 2.3 5.4 2.9 11.5 0.8 2.Lateral scan of temperature rise across the landing spot 173 .5 0.2 0. similar tables would be included covering the other wind speeds and wind directions where any further local peaks were identified.7 5.3 0.3 0.3 0.9 5.2 4. Figure 10.2 0.1 0.8 0.2 3.6 7.2 z (m) 25 0.2 z (m) 20 0.3 8.3 0.8 2.3 3 .4 0.1 8.4 0.1 5.3 0.2 0.20 .5 z (m) 15 0.2 0.second peak temperature °C NOTE: For temperature rise data.2 3.5 z (m) 10 0.8 3.9 0.3 4.7 9.3 9.2 6.4 0.7 0.2 3.2 0.5 0.0 6.4 0.5 1.5 10.5 5.

Figure 10. For temperature rise data.22 .Recommended presentation of downdraft data. wind from). with respect to Platform North. similar charts would be included covering the other wind speeds and wind directions where any further local peaks were identified. Wind direction (degrees from Platform N) = 45. Shaded bands denote the reference wind speed at which the critical value is exceeded. Figure 10. Wind speed at 10 m = 5 m/s. 174 .21 .e.Plot of 3 second peak temperature rise above landing spot. The radial axis denotes reference wind speed in m/s. The circumference axis denotes wind direction (i.

wind from). wind from). with respect to Platform North.e. Figure 10.2-5°C 5-10°C 15-20°C Figure 10.Recommended presentation of temperature data. The circumference axis denotes wind direction (i. The circumference axis denotes wind direction (i.23 .e.24 . 175 . The radial axis denotes reference wind speed in m/s.Recommended presentation of turbulence data. with respect to Platform North. The radial axis denotes reference wind speed in m/s. Shaded bands denote the reference wind speed at which the critical value is exceeded.

together with the supporting detailed flow assessment results (presented as in Section 10. It should then be submitted to BHAB Helidecks. which currently provides the pilot with concise information on the physical layout of the installation. The requirements for this information are somewhat different if the installation is fixed at a particular heading. This presentation should be prepared for each installation by a person competent in the interpretation of the wind flow data in terms of helicopter operations. whilst Figure 26 contains an example for an FPSO.g.10. or if the installation is an FPSO or mobile drilling unit which changes its heading according to the weather and/or operational needs. In Figure 25 an example is given of a presentation for a fixed platform. It is anticipated that BHAB Helidecks will then review the information. and then issue this summary to the helicopter operators.2). semisubmersible production or drilling platforms. together with navigational and radio frequency information. Aerad Plate).. Consequently two examples are provided. make any changes deemed necessary to the summary presentation. tension leg platforms etc. It is intended that the presentation should be complementary to the Route Guide (e. as is the case for fixed jacket platforms.3 Presentation of Flow Assessment Results for Operations This section contains recommended formats for the presentation of a summary of the helideck flow assessment interpreted in terms of the operational restrictions that will need to be placed on flight operations. 176 .10.10.

25 .Figure 10.Example summary presentation of environmental limits for a fixed platform. 177 .

Example summary presentation of environmental limits for an FPSO. 178 .26 .Figure 10.

12) to derive quantitative helideck downtime estimates (see Section 10. In either case the results are invariably presented in terms of linear transfer functions. or amidships at the waterline).Example Response Amplitude Operator (RAO). or to physical model testing. yaw.11. The transfer function contains an amplitude and phase component. pitch. Using specialist software this data can be combined with wave climate data (see Section 10. sway.1) and limiting motion criteria (see Section 10.27 .13).27.1 Wave Induced Motion Estimates The motion characteristics of a vessel or floating platform may be reliably predicted by recourse to well-established computer models. An example response amplitude operator is given in Figure 10. 179 .10. Provided that transfer functions have been derived for all six motion components (roll. Figure 10. then RAOs can be readily calculated for any helideck location on the vessel.11 WAVE MOTION ASSESSMENT 10.12. and the amplitude is often referred to as a Response Amplitude Operator (RAO). surge and heave) for a vessel at a defined reference point (often at the centre of gravity.

10. roll and pitch motions. Wave scatter tables defined on an ‘all-year’. Wave Scatter Table Worldwide Database . Wave scatter tables for specific locations (especially local in-shore conditions) should be obtained from specialist metocean sources.g. or operates under heading control (see Section 10.6).1 Limiting Motion Criteria Limiting motion criteria for landing a helicopter on a floating platform are at present usually defined in terms of maximum heave. Wave scatter tables for directional sectors are needed in cases where vessel motions vary with relative wave heading (e.10.Dec . East Sig Hgt (m) > 14 13 to 14 12 to 13 11 to 12 10 to 11 9 to 10 8 to 9 7 to 8 6 to 7 5 to 6 4 to 5 3 to 4 2 to 3 1 to 2 0 to 1 <4 Obs 28 167 323 278 140 49 13 3 1 1000 1 5 21 4~5 1 5 19 62 80 1 2 7 22 66 140 85 5~6 1 1 4 12 33 77 112 38 6~7 1 2 4 10 24 44 46 9 1 2 5 10 15 12 2 1 2 3 4 2 10 ~ 11 1 1 1 2 5 14 37 98 226 381 235 11 ~ 12 12 ~ 13 > 13 7~8 8~9 9 ~ 10 Zero Crossing Period (s) Figure 10. and large accelerations can cause sliding across the deck or a tendency to overturn.28). but the manner of analysis will vary depending on whether the vessel heading is fixed or varies with the direction of the weather. 180 . The motions used in this analysis must represent the motions of the helideck (rather than the motions of the vessel at its centre of gravity). semi-submersible drilling vessels). Jan . Large heave motions can make it difficult for the pilot to control the final stages of landing and rate of descent at touchdown. ‘all-directions’ basis may be adequate for vessels that are to operate at all times of year and whose motions are relatively insensitive to heading (e. Sea Area 25.12 WAVE CLIMATE The probability of encountering a given combination of significant wave height and period is defined using a ‘wave scatter table’.12.g. which describes the proportion of time when the significant wave height and period lie within specified ranges. Wave scatter tables for open-water sea areas may be obtained from standard reference texts or computer databases (see example in Figure 10.Example wave scatter table.28 . The vessel heading relative to waves should be considered in cases where the vessel weathervanes. ships).

181 . the most likely or average value of all maxima that can occur in different randomly-sampled 10minute intervals). roll and pitch. Maximum MSI values may be calculated and analysed using vessel motion models and procedures similar to those used to determine maximum heave. from the mean value to the maximum) or ‘double-amplitude’ (i. the Motion Severity Index (MSI).e.e. and are often incorporated into standard vessel motion prediction programs.The maximum motion experienced during a given time interval depends not only on the sea state. but maximum single-amplitude for roll and pitch motions (i. Significant variations in maximum motions often occur between one sample time interval and another. and on the length of the time interval. NOTE: The single-amplitude roll and pitch motions must be measured from the true vertical in order that any vessel list or trim is properly accounted for.e. A new approach to measuring helideck motion based on helideck accelerations is currently being developed [Ref: 65].e. This measure is monitored on a continuous basis over a 10-minute period and processed statistically to produce a prediction of the most likely maximum value for the next 10 minutes. When this is introduced the height of the helideck above the vessel centre of gravity will be of greater concern since the greater this distance. Standard helicopter landing criteria are usually defined in terms of maximum double-amplitude heave motions (i. The measure of motion severity employed is simply the acceleration in the plane of the helideck divided by the acceleration normal to the helideck. together with the published MSI algorithms. from minimum to maximum) values.e. measured from trough to peak). measured from the true vertical). Special care should be taken to determine whether maximum motions represent ‘single-amplitude’ (i. but also on the particular sequence of waves that occurs. the greater the horizontal acceleration generated by a given roll motion. Motion time series obtained from time-domain simulation programs or model tests should be processed statistically to obtain estimates of the most probable or expected maximum values. Standard formulae for estimating the most probable and expected maximum motion in a given sea state are available. The limiting motion criteria are therefore normally interpreted as specifying ‘most probable’ or ‘expected’ maximum values occurring in a 10-minute time interval (i.

Once the helideck downtime has been estimated. Helideck downtime will lead to disruption of the vessel operations. The helideck wave motions in each of the seastates defined in the scatter table are estimated. but is more complex because it involves the three parameters (wave height.6. 182 . The process should be performed by a competent naval architect using the appropriate specialised software. or may vary with changing wave directions.13 ESTIMATING HELIDECK DOWNTIME DUE TO WAVES Estimates of the likely helideck downtime can be made by combining the information about the helideck motion characteristics (RAOs) (see Section 10. The analysis should take due account of vessel heading. The process is similar to that described for wind in Section 10.12. but it should be borne in mind that for smaller ships the limiting motion criteria vary depending on the helideck location on the vessel. wave period and wave direction).1). and these will have a cost. This sum is the total probability that the conditions will be unacceptable.12). and the helideck motion limits (see Section 10. the vessel operator can decide whether it is at an acceptable level or not. Relocating the helideck to a vessel location with lesser motions and thus lower downtime may be appropriate. and the sea state probability summed if the motions exceed the limiting operating criteria. owing to the poorer visual cues available to the pilot. Lesser motions are permitted for bow mounted helidecks.9.10.11) with the expected operating wave climate in the scatter table (see Section 10. which might be fixed.

183 . preferably with no operating restrictions. should be suitable for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. However. etc. The following sections deal with the various systems and components in detail. This should ensure that the helideck could remain fully operational for evacuating personnel. in the event of a process upset condition and where potentially explosive atmospheres (e. where appropriate. gas release) may occur. equivalent 'manual' alerting systems should be in place. along with adequate platform emergency and communications procedures. the specification and selection of electrical equipment used for helideck lighting systems. However. providing prevailing conditions around the installation and at the helideck do not prohibit helicopter operations. and under normal platform operating conditions be free from any potentially explosive atmospheres created by the platform drilling and production processes.1 INTRODUCTION The items that make up the whole helideck facilities package cover a wide range of individual systems and components. as part of their discipline responsibilities. 11. to provide designers with practical guidance for optimising designs and operation. and classified as a non-hazardous area. there is a pressing need to ensure this work is properly co-ordinated to ensure that the final product is ‘a fully certified helideck’ ready for flight operations. Several discipline engineers. which is a Safety Critical Element (SCE). the effects of these events on the safety of helicopters and helideck operations should be fully taken into account in the installation safety case. HELIDECK SYSTEMS 11. Helideck safety systems such as automatically activated status lights or.g. Although the helideck may be classified as a non-hazardous area under normal platform operating conditions.1 Hazardous Area Classification and Equipment Selection The helideck should be positioned at a safe location on an installation or group of installations.1. will often manage the work associated with the helideck systems and components. Each system and its components contribute to the overall serviceability of a helideck.11. In this respect the helideck should be located in.

whilst painting a new build helideck or as a result of repainting during helideck maintenance.A short guide for the offshore industry.A short guide for the offshore industry. [Ref: 29] HSE Operations Notice No.2. reference should be made to the following: • • • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 [Ref: 12] Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres .Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 .2.1 Introduction Care is necessary to ensure that all markings on the helideck follow the guidance of CAP 437 precisely. Where markings are found to be incorrect. 11.The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 . [Ref: 28] • HSE Operations Notice No. [Ref: 19] HSE Operations Notice No.MARKINGS 11. 63 (Dec 2003) . Chapter 4.2 VISUAL AIDS . 59 (Jan 2003) . 11.Additionally. except where otherwise agreed with the BHAB Helidecks.A Guide to the Equipment and Protective Systems intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996. 58 (Jan 2003) . this problem may have occurred during preparation of the initial helideck design drawings.2 Main References CAP 437. When developing the design and preparing specifications for procuring helideck systems and equipment.3 Helideck Markings All helideck markings should be properly specified in accordance with CAP 437.Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (L138). [Ref: 30] • 11.2. 184 . the specification and selection of equipment used in aviation fuel pumping and dispensing systems should be suitable for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is dependent upon the system design and where each part of the system is to be located on the helideck or elsewhere on the installation.

or where it considered both appropriate and necessary to deviate from the markings specified in CAP 437. designers should consider locating installation / vessel name boards at high elevations where they will be more visible to an approaching helicopter at a reasonable range from the installation / vessel. There is no requirement under aviation regulations that stipulates the use of block numbers or other designators.4. installation side signage should be unambiguous and unique and should be located high up on the installation. Company logos and block numbers should NOT be used on helidecks and side signage so that opportunities for confusion are reduced. These marine requirements still exist but do not have relevance to offshore helicopter operations. 185 . the offshore installation or vessel identification NAME should be adequately sized.1 General The primary objective is to provide highly visible installation / vessel identification from the air during a helicopter’s final approach (by day and night) and thus minimise the opportunity for ‘wrong deck’ landings [Ref: 32]. If there is any doubt about particular helideck marking requirements. Marine Division. This is solely a marine requirement that comes under the jurisdiction of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the form of a ‘Marking Schedule’ that was previously issued by the Department of Trade. Therefore. 11. designers should first consult with BHAB Helidecks or other specialists. and does not include other adjacent helideck areas such as a parking area (the parking area should be painted in a contrasting colour). Ideally.2. For helicopter operations.2.4 Installation / Helideck Identification 11.In particular. The safe landing area should be identified as ONLY the area that is contained within the white perimeter line and within the 210° unobstructed arc. ONLY the name should be used to identify the installation / vessel. unobstructed and clearly visible to flight crews approaching the helideck. and this should be consistent with the installation / vessel Identification Boards.

2.3. the white markings can be outlined in a contrasting colour (e. The use of advanced lighting technologies (i. Suitable locations may be found on drilling derricks and other elevated structures. 186 . The identification marking letters / figures should clearly contrast with the background colour of the helideck surface. It is essential to ensure the helideck net (when fitted) does not obscure any part of the identification NAME. should be the same as the installation or vessel AVIATION CALL SIGN and ideally this should be reproduced on the side identification panels.4) should be considered for installation identification boards in order to enhance long range identification for pilots and mariners. this may need to be done on aluminium helidecks where the natural surface remains unpainted.0 metres with a line width of 0. black) if it is necessary to highlight them against the helideck ‘base’ colour. CAP 437 states a MINIMUM height of 1. Where possible. designers should consider placing the side signage panels that are used for helicopter operations at as high a level as possible on the Installation. Also. The identification NAME.g.11.Section 11.4.3 Installation Identification Boards It should be recognised that the retro-reflective systems currently used for installation identification boards do not provide adequate long-range identification for pilots. long life LEDs .3.2 metres for the identification marking letters / figures.2 Helideck The NAME should ideally be clearly displayed between the origin of the obstacle free sector and the touchdown marking.2. For greater effect.4 metres. 11. the perforated surface will rarely provided sufficient contrast without highlighting all the markings. Particularly. Where space permits. consideration should be given to enlarging the markings to a height of 2.e.4. on ‘passive’ design helidecks. particularly at night and in poor visibility. high intensity. See CAA Paper 92006 [Ref: 45].

Obstructions requiring marking may include: • • • • • • • • Cranes Drilling Derricks Burner Booms Flare Stacks Communications Towers Gas Turbine Exhaust Support Structures Any structures that infringe any of the obstruction free criteria and have been identified as a helideck restriction by BHAB Helidecks. Any other structures that are adjacent to potential flight paths where marking may provide additional and beneficial visual clues to flight crews.4.2.5 Obstruction Markings The objective of providing obstruction markings is to identify and highlight physical obstructions around the helideck and the installation environs that could present a hazard to helicopters.2. 11. Gas turbine exhaust systems and their support structures often do not present a physical obstruction to helicopters due to their inboard location. Designers should pay particular attention to identifying any physical obstructions that could present a hazard to helicopter operations and to specifying markings in accordance with CAP 437. radio callsign and the helideck identification marking should all be the same to avoid any opportunities for confusion during operations. However. 11.1 Paint Schemes The paint schemes selected for marking major structural obstructions should be properly specified including the use of special high temperature finishes for flare stacks and gas turbine exhausts. CAP 437 does allow alternate colour schemes. there is considerable merit in marking these structures to highlight them to helicopter crews as the source of hot emissions that may affect helicopter performance and safety. Normally.11.2. the markings on main structural obstructions should be RED and WHITE bands dimensioned as noted in CAP 437. 187 . However.5.4 A Common Identification Requirement The installation identification boards.

Although CAP 437 makes no distinction between the types of structural obstruction and the colour schemes to apply. CAA is encouraging the industry to implement the new Stage 1 standards as soon as practical. three main problems exist with current helideck lighting systems and they are: • The location of the helideck on the platform is often difficult to establish due to the lack of visual conspicuity of the perimeter lights. Chapter 4. it is highly recommended that any structures that are cited as infringements to the obstruction free criteria should be marked with BLACK and YELLOW bands. High temperature paint systems suitable for gas turbine exhaust systems tend to have limited colour ranges.1 Main References CAP 437. DERA Research Paper into Helideck Lighting [Ref: 66]. CAA intends to update CAP 437 starting with Stage 1.3.LIGHTING SYSTEMS 11. CAA Helideck Lighting Interim Guidance (Letter dated 17 November 2003) [Ref: 47] NOTE: The material contained in this section largely reflects the current standards. a UK CAA proposal to change the standards and recommended practices in ICAO Annex 14 Volume 2 was presented to the ICAO Visual Aids Panel (VAP) in December 2002 and these changes have been accepted by ICAO and will be adopted in the next update of Annex 14 Volume 2 and the Heliport Manual. In essence. In the case of gas turbine exhausts. ICAO Annex 14. CAA plans to implement the changes in two stages with absolute cut-off for compliance of Stage 1 by 1 January 2008 and Stage 2 by 1 January 2010. CAA is conducting further trials prior to publishing a specification for lighting technologies suitable for the Phase 2 changes. BLACK and WHITE / SILVER is acceptable. 11.3 VISUAL AIDS . probably in 2004. 188 . Volume 2 (Figure 5-9 for light isocandela diagrams). However.

• Phase 1 changes comprise: • • a change of perimeter light colour from yellow to green and revision of the associated lighting specification. 11.3. added emphasis on ensuring that floodlighting does not present a source of glare to pilots if it is to be retained.2 Considering the Offshore Lighting Environment Particular care should be taken to check that all lighting arrangements follow precisely the guidance of CAP 437. Designers of helideck lighting systems should be highly sensitive to the need to provide good quality and reliable helideck lighting in the offshore / marine 189 . These lighting systems are likely to be LED light sources but other light sources with equivalent performance may be acceptable. Proposed Phase 2 changes are: • provision of a lit aiming circle (circle of yellow lighting) and heliport identification 'H' marking (green lighting). except where otherwise agreed with BHAB Helidecks. However. and further reduce the conspicuity of helideck perimeter lights during the approach. designers who are currently designing new helidecks and constructors who are undertaking helideck refurbishment are strongly advised to contact the CAA or BHAB Helidecks for the most up-to-date information and advice. The performance of most helideck floodlighting systems in illuminating the central landing area is inadequate. During this period of change and prior to updating CAP 437. In most cases this can be achieved by the deletion of existing deck level floodlighting possibly replacing it with a high mounted (0.• Helideck floodlighting systems frequently present a source of glare and loss of pilots' night vision on the deck. leading to the so-called 'black hole' effect.05D) system located within the LOS. interim guidance has been produced in the form of a CAA letter [Ref: 49]. NB: There are exceptions to this solution and these are spelled out in the CAA interim guidance letter dated 17 November 2003 [Ref: 47].

Failure to do so can cause flight crew severe problems when landing and taking-off from installations and vessels at night and in poor visibility. has the effect of overpowering the visual cues that have been specifically provided for flight crews. PHASE Platform Location Platform Identification VISUAL TASK Sensor Search Observe defining features VISUAL CUES / AIDS Contrast of platform against sea/dark background Position of platform in relation to others. Detect rate of change of position. These are given in the following table. The key to this exercise is finding the right balance. Light pollution from the vast array of general installation lighting will often compete with the helideck lighting and. Orientation and change of orientation of known features / markings/ lights. See Figure 11. Lights.1. Perimeter lighting. is made more difficult because of the background lighting environment. Colour of helideck. Luminance of helideck (floodlighting). Much of the light pollution can be physically shielded from the approaching or ondeck helicopter if sufficient thought is given to this problem during the design phase. both in the air on an approach to the helideck and whilst parked on the helideck itself. Providing good helideck lighting on Offshore Installations. Figure 11. Hover & Landing Detect helicopter position and rate of change of position in 3 axes (6 degrees of freedom) Figure 11. probably more so than on vessels. When locating and specifying luminaires for helideck lighting systems designers should attempt to visualise the likely results (including probable background light pollution) from a helicopter flight crew’s perspective.2. Outline shape of platform Sign board. Shape of helideck. Helideck texture.1 – Visual Cues Summary (Source: DERA) 190 . The use of computer generated luminance diagrams (usually provided by specialist lighting supply companies) may help to establish correct levels of helideck lighting with respect to perimeter and floodlighting. in some cases.environment. The designer should always give consideration to the visual tasks to be undertaken by helicopter flight crews during approach to an installation or vessel and the associated visual clues and aids available during each phase of the operation. Known features / markings. Apparent size and change of size. Helideck Acquisition Search within platform structure Final Approach Detect helicopter position in 3 axes.

The purpose of this floodlighting is to provide flight crews with good visual cues and to avoid the ‘floating in space’ effect often experienced at night when approaching NUIs for landing. including floodlighting. Therefore helicopter evacuation or medivac night flights must not be part of the Installation safety case or the emergency procedures. lighting. especially below the helideck should be seriously considered. no night emergency flights may be undertaken.(Photograph courtesy of Institute of Petroleum) Figure 11.2 – Example of typical light pollution from an offshore installation 11. Floodlighting of the structure.3 Specific Requirements for NUIs If night operations are to take place. must meet the requirements of CAP 437. Consideration should also be given to the requirements for night emergency flights. in full. 191 .3. If it is decided not to install lighting in compliance with CAP 437.

3. or from an appropriate manned installation or shore base.3. When required. perimeter lighting should not exceed 250 mm overall height above deck level and should exhibit yellow lights of 25 candelas or above at maximum three metre spacing. have extended life tubes / filaments and be relatively maintenance free.4 Perimeter Lighting 11.g. Therefore.4. some poor and others adequate. NUIs). several types of light fitting have been used for perimeter lighting. 192 . The system may be controlled via a light sensitive switch with a manual override operable locally. Perimeter lights can be obtained for surface fixing or semi-recessed applications. 11. Where perimeter lights are used on helidecks that are likely to suffer from guano accumulations (e. the perimeter lighting and floodlighting MAY remain on. Over the years.4.2 Equipment Specification To comply with the latest edition of CAP 437. 11. In recent years more specialised equipment has become available.3. spray on vessel helidecks and fire monitor discharges).Providing the NUI is in a condition which is safe to accept helicopter movements.1 Objective The primary objective of perimeter marking and lighting is to delineate the limit of the SAFE LANDING AREA particularly on the Limited Obstacle Sector side of the helideck.g. designers are now able to specify ‘fit for purpose’ units that will comply with CAP 437 and will be robust. A full technical specification is given in ICAO Annex 14 Volume 2 (Note: CAA is in the process of proposing amendments to the current specification). A helicopter should be able to land within this area with adequate clearance from any obstruction on the Limited Obstacle Sector side of the deck. they can often be fitted with low profile ‘bird spikes’ to deter seabirds from roosting on them. perimeter light fittings suitable for use in hazardous atmospheres (Zone 1 and 2) are obtainable with IP Rated enclosures suitable for immersion in seawater (e. reliable.

(Photograph courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11.3.4 – Typical Recessed Perimeter Light 11. 193 . These lighting panels are more suited to those applications where it is necessary to delineate the inner extent of the safe landing area on large helidecks with parking areas and where a surface mounted arrangement is the preferred structural option.3 – Typical Surface Mounted Perimeter Light with ‘Bird Spike’ (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.3 Electroluminescent Lighting Panels (ELP) Electroluminescent lighting panels (ELP) offer another option for helideck lighting.4.

In the future. To achieve a regular pattern it is preferred that more light units are added and the maximum spacing be slightly reduced.g.4 Light Emitting Diode (LED) Systems A recent innovation when designing helideck lighting is the use of LED technology.4. environmental effects) and they can withstand the weight and abrasive effects of anticipated traffic. When using these light fittings it is important to ensure that the construction is sufficiently robust for helideck applications (e. there is passenger walkway. a parking or run-off area). 11.3.3. as far as reasonable practicable. A technical specification for ELP lighting is given in ICAO Annex 14 Volume 2. such enhancements to offshore helideck lighting may become a requirement. In the case of helidecks where the perimeter lights delineate a safe landing area that is less than the overall size of the helideck surface (e. The proposed future use of these systems for illuminating the 'H' and aiming circle awaits the development of practical equipment.g. be equidistant.5 Lighting Layout Spacing of the lighting units should. Suitable power supplies and enclosure rating should also be fully considered.5 – Electroluminescent (ELP) Lighting Panel These panels have recently been demonstrated during a CAA Research Project lighting trial to provide a very effective illuminated ‘H’. Placing this type of fitting across that section of the 194 .4.(Photograph courtesy of QinetiQ) Figure 11. Recent lighting trials during a CAA Research Project have established that this technology is probably superior to ELP panels because it provides clearer visual signals and has potentially longer operating life. 11. semi-recessed fittings or ‘ELP lights’ may be considered more appropriate.

5. At night and in low light conditions the floodlighting also provides a safer work environment for helideck crews and for passenger movements. 11. 11. low cultural lighting).05D above the helideck surface) at the origin of the Limited Obstacle Sector and aimed toward the centre of the SLA. Alternate lights should be supplied from different power supplies.4. overall performance can be significantly improved. If the helideck and / or installation is in an unsafe condition (i.3. in some cases (e. This has the effect of at least providing half the perimeter lighting if there is a malfunction circuit in one of the electrical supplies. good light levels and visual cues can be achieved with reduced use of low level floodlighting.5 Floodlighting 11. NOTE: During helideck lighting field trials. Trials have indicated that deck level xenon systems may have an application on NUI’s. It may also be beneficial to have the lighting activated by ‘low light’ conditions using an appropriately designed PIR system. the helideck lighting system should be switched off. not fit for helicopter operations).6 Power Supply and Control There is considerable merit in designing the supply system for perimeter lighting to operate from two separate power circuits.e.3.1 Objective The objective with floodlighting on offshore helidecks is to provide flight crews with good visual cues during the approach and landing phase and to eliminate any ‘black hole’ visual effects in the safe landing area.g. with floodlights positioned in a raised position (0. Control of the perimeter lighting should be from a location convenient to the Helideck / HLO office. when to use elevated halogen floodlighting would create an obstacle in an otherwise obstacle free 195 . as part of a recent CAA research project.3.helideck where personnel and aircraft movements may take place will present less obstructions and trip hazards. Data presented to CAA suggests that XENON floodlights now available for use on offshore helidecks may. Also. offer enhanced performance over the current generation of halogen systems. it has been noted that by making use of combinations of modern lighting systems (LEDs and ELPs) for the helideck markings and using green perimeter lights.

The use of sodium lighting in this application may be 196 . generally. halogen systems would have the advantage of ‘instant’ light whereas sodium type systems require time to ‘warm-up’ before they reach full output.5.3. The maximum ratio between the average horizontal and minimum light intensity should be 8:1. The average light intensity on the landing area should be at least 10 lux. 11. Therefore. It should be noted that.6 – Typical Helideck Floodlight Helideck floodlighting suppliers should be requested to verify the required lighting levels from the layout specified and using the luminaires types supplied. Duty holders who select xenon systems must be particularly careful to ensure that lights are properly aligned and adequately shielded to prevent glare to pilots. Such a change will not eliminate the need for general helideck floodlighting for the purposes of safe personnel movements around the helideck during on-deck operations. (Photograph courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11.2 Equipment Specification & Layout The floodlighting systems should be designed and positioned to ensure adequate illumination without affecting pilots’ night vision. The spectrum of the surface lighting should be such that the colours used for the markings on the helideck can be interpreted correctly. Great care should be exercised in selection of the type of luminaire to be used.environment. designers should note that the current floodlighting requirements might change in the future.

satellite installations. etc. However.g. Combined perimeter and floodlights do not meet the current ICAO uniformity and intensity ratio requirements and are therefore unacceptable and should no longer 197 .g.3. 11.) particular attention should be paid to the floodlighting of the structure below helideck level with downward facing floodlights. (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.3 Combined Perimeter and Floodlights Combined perimeter and floodlights are. difficulties may be experienced with exposed helideck fittings (such as floodlighting) being damaged or swept away by waves.problematical where the electrical system design does not make proper provision for loss of electrical supply (e. Incorrect settings may dazzle the pilot or cause a ‘black hole’ effect. For small installations. On vessels with forward mounted helidecks. when the vessel is underway in heavy seas. (e. This enhances the 'visual cues' available to pilots during night approaches to give depth perception.5. during changeover from main to emergency supply). the extent of the beam cast by the floodlighting is very limited and will invariably give a ‘black hole’ effect. an integrated design.7 – Combined Perimeter and Floodlight Powered by a fluorescent luminaire they offered designers (in the early years of offshore helideck designs) a compact helideck lighting solution. Manufacturers of floodlighting should be asked to provide a methodology for initial setting up (the angle between fitting brackets and deck surface is critical) and subsequent regular checking once installed. however short-lived. as their name implies.

11.3. location and maintenance of general lighting requires great care in order that flight crew night vision is not affected and the helideck visual cues are not compromised.5.g. However. the fixings need to be very robust to withstand specified. there is considerable merit in designing the supply system for floodlighting to operate from two separate power circuits. the designer must be able to demonstrate to the BHAB Helidecks that the lighting will be able to cover the safe landing area without creating night vision ‘dazzle’ problems for the flight crews. Therefore. This has the effect of at least providing half the floodlighting if there is a circuit malfunction in one of the electrical supplies. the design. providing this general installation and helideck lighting can present a flight safety problem.6.4 Floodlighting on Vessel Helidecks Floodlighting units are available with an IP Rating suitable for immersion in seawater. However. shutters or a deflector) to prevent unwanted light overspill above the units. 11.3. When re-working or modifying a helideck they should be replaced or supplemented by lighting units complying with the appropriate ICAO specification. 198 . on or under the bridge apron).5 Power Supply and Control Similar to perimeter lights. The positioning (direction) of the lighting units should also be fully adjustable and there should be proper provision (e.5. Alternate lights should be supplied from different power supplies. helideck crews and for passenger movements at night and in low light conditions.1 Objective The objective of installing general lighting on offshore installations and vessels and their helidecks is to provide a safe work environment for personnel. In this case it may be considered prudent to locate some helideck floodlighting units at a higher elevation to protect them (e. If this arrangement is to be considered acceptable. 11.6 General Lighting 11.3.g.3.

) care should be taken to ensure that ‘overspill’ is minimised.7 Obstruction Lighting 11. lifeboat launching stations. 11. without compromising the intent of the lighting requirement. Power Supply and Control Where general floodlighting is used on helidecks the control of this lighting should be accessible to the HLO in order that it can be immediately switched off at the request of the flight crew.3. Helideck The general lighting around a helideck is normally confined to providing adequate illumination on walkways. Where floodlights are directed outboard for specific purposes (e. stairways. This will generally mean that selection and location of lighting units will simply take into account the need to illuminate the installation’s external walkways. work platforms. etc. particularly floodlights.1 Objective Significant structures on installations and vessels that may pose a threat to helicopters in darkness and low visibility conditions should be clearly marked with appropriately selected and positioned obstruction lights rated as noted in CAP 437.11. at the same time. production and drilling areas. Ideally. general lighting units.6. satisfactorily meeting the primary objective. It is important that the helideck designer influences the manner in which the layout of general lighting proceeds. etc. Structures that may require obstruction lighting include: 199 . This lighting should ideally be to the same specification as the general installation / vessel lighting.3. The location and direction of the lighting units should be designed to minimise ‘overspill’ onto the helideck yet. installation signage. should be positioned and directed so that they cast their light INTO the installation thus avoiding unnecessary ‘overspill’ that may pollute potential flight paths and the helideck.g. stairways.3.2 Equipment Specification & Layout General Installation / Vessel The selection of Installation general lighting is normally carried out as a separate exercise to the helideck design.7. monitor platforms and the parking area if one is provided.

Flare towers can be a problem for locating and maintaining obstruction lights. 11.• • • • • • Flare / Vent Towers and Booms Drilling Derricks Radio Masts Gas Turbine Exhaust support structures Legs on Jack-up Rigs Crane Jibs and ‘A’ Frames.3.7. obstruction lights are positioned at the highest point on an obstruction and. flare / vent towers and radio masts) additional lights are located at approximately 10 metre intervals over the length of the structure.2 Equipment Specification & Layout As a general rule. in the case of very tall structures (e.8 – Typical 10 Candela Obstruction Light 200 .g. (Photograph courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11.

For instance. Also. with a permanently lit flare (pilot flare in operation). Therefore. if obstruction lights are to be fitted to the flare tower then the highest location should start at an elevation where the lights will be unaffected by radiated heat and at a point that is accessible for maintenance. An alternative to fitting obstruction lights on the flare structure is to flood light it from a lower elevation. 201 . on an FPSO. locating the floodlight on top of the ‘Turret’ may provide both a convenient and effective position to achieve a good result.9 . there is little to be gained by installing an obstruction light at the highest point because there should be sufficient illumination at the tip for flight crews to see and avoid.(Photograph courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11.Typical Twin Luminaire 50 Cd Obstruction Light The obvious problems associated with high temperatures at the flare tip mean that placing an obstruction light where it is subject to extreme temperatures is not a realistic proposition.

Internally illuminated windsocks are available and these are the preferred lighting option. they should operate via a PIR.8 Windsock Lighting 11. Irrespective of the type of obstruction lighting selected.1 Objective The windsock(s) should be illuminated with white floodlighting (without impairing pilots vision) where the helideck is to be used at night or in weather conditions where visibility is less than 1500 metres. Obstruction lights should be specified to provide an omni-directional light that is clearly visible to an approaching helicopter.Accurate sighting of the floodlight(s) is required to ensure that the structure is properly highlighted and that light ‘overspill’ that may affect pilot night vision is avoided. to ensure the lights switch on automatically in low light conditions.8.7. It is preferable to specify either dual filament light units or install the lights in pairs.3 Power Supply and Control Power supplies to the obstruction lights should be connected to the emergency switchboard and ideally.3. 11. Where there is significant light pollution from the installation / vessel general areas that may reduce the overall visual effects of obstruction lighting. 11.3. 202 . Vertical Gas Turbine exhaust support structures should also be fitted with obstruction lights to give an indication to the flight crews of the origin of the heat source. it should be specified with enclosures consistent with the hazardous area classification for the area in which it is to be located. This should ensure that the installation / vessel is not rendered non-compliant for helicopter operations at night or in low visibility conditions as a result of a filament failure in a single light unit. it is prudent to consult with the CAA / BHAB Helidecks and to advise them of the design intent.3. it may be prudent to select higher-powered units. Before proceeding with this alternate arrangement.

it may be considered desirable to illuminate a windsock from a remote light source.11 – Example of external windsock lighting configuration 203 . Figure 11.(Photograph courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11. For this type of arrangement to be acceptable it should be clearly demonstrated that there is an overriding need to illuminate with a remote light source(s) and that the lighting is both effective and does not impair pilot night vision.g. See also Section 11.9.10 – Example of an internally illuminated windsock Externally illuminated windsocks provide equally good lighting but tend to be more vulnerable to damage. In some instances (e. due to its location and the available electrical power supplies). In both cases the arrangement for elevating the windsock above helideck level should be designed to allow the windsock assembly to be safely lowered for routine maintenance. filament and sock replacement.4 for details about the Windsock structure and its location.

helidecks on offshore installations and vessels should be equipped with the means to indicate to helicopter flight crews when a condition exists on the installation that may be hazardous to helicopters and passengers.MOVE CLEAR OF THE LANDING AREA.9.9. by activating a FLASHING RED light. Section 4. To an aircraft in flight . the internationally understood meaning of a flashing red light is: 1. CAA Status Light Interim Guidance (Letter dated 31 December 2002) [Ref: 48] 11. 11.3. NOTE: Recent HSE / CAA research into the environments around offshore helidecks has indicated that an appropriate hazard level for helicopters in respect of a hydrocarbon gas release should be set at a maximum limit of 10% LFL (Lower Flammable Limit) anywhere in potential helicopter operating areas.9 Status Lights 11. 204 .9. impending gas release).DO NOT LAND: aerodrome not available for landing To an aircraft on the aerodrome . The status lights should be capable of being switched off with a manual override locally from an appropriately manned installation or shore base. In the aviation context.1 Main References CAP 437.g. CAA Paper 98003 [Ref: 46] Note this will be superseded by CAA paper 2003/6.3. 2.3. Helideck status changes may arise due to process upset conditions on the installation or vessel (e.3.2 General Requirements Provision should be made to visually warn helicopter flight crews when a helideck is unsafe for a landing.3 Requirements for NUIs All NUls should be equipped with ‘Status Lights’ to indicate to flight crews when a condition exists on the installation that may be hazardous to the helicopter and its occupants or the installation.11.3. For this reason.

3. in particular. • Comply with the operational requirements (minimum intensity and beam spread) set out in the Appendix to CAA Paper 2003/6 and CAP 437 (when revised).4 System Design Objectives The warning system should: • Be visible to the helicopter flight crew whilst in the air and on the helideck and preferably be located close to the helideck exits so as to be visible to Installation personnel • Ideally be comprised of a pair of high intensity flashing red beacons. In the event that one ‘main’ unit is sufficient to achieve this operational objective. (See CAA paper 2003/6 and CAP 437 for detailed lamp output specifications).9. in place to mitigate partial or total system failure. the second unit may comprise a repeater unit suitable for local helideck status indication. 205 . there should be an in-built facility for dimming the lights whilst a helicopter is on deck and a means of automatically returning the main lights to full intensity to eliminate inadvertent system operation at "dimmed" level. • Be connected to the emergency switchboard (preferably an UPS) and have adequate in-built redundancy to cater for individual lamp failures along with appropriate procedures i. Main lights must have a minimum ‘typical day’ viewing range of 900 metres (detectable) and 700 metres (conspicuous) based on the current minimum meteorological visibility of 1400 metres. The HLO should be able to manually operate the system. (at-least one of which must be visible from all possible directions of approach). • • Comply with helideck obstacle environment criteria. • Normally be automatically initiated at the appropriate hazard level and have test and manual override functions available. On normally unattended installations the system must be capable of being reset from an adjacent manned platform or a manned shore location.11. monitoring systems.e.

9.g.5 Equipment Specification Development work has been undertaken by CAA to establish the standards to be used for specifying helideck status lights. 11. A Technical Specification is available in CAA paper 2003/6 and CAP 437.Typical Helideck Status Light 206 .• Performance of status light units must have been verified using an approved test procedure (e.3. (Photo courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11. based on FAA AC 20-74) and been subjected to testing to validate the effective intensity of the flashing lights.13a .

11..) to the BHAB Helidecks for notification (in the HLL) to all the helicopter operators and their flight crews. switching logic.3.13b – Typical Helideck Status Light (Repeater) Designers should note that normally there should be at least two lights fixed on the helideck perimeter or at locations nearby. day or night.9. This is because the helideck is normally identified as a functional part of installation or vessel emergency preparedness and as such is a Safety Critical Element.(Photo courtesy of Orga BV) Figure 11.4 ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLIES 11.4.g. the operator or owner should provide relevant information (e.6 Operational Requirements When status lights are installed and operational on an installation or vessel. However.1 General Philosophy The provision of electrical power to the various systems used on the helideck should fully take into account the requirement to keep the helideck operational at all times. in some cases there may be a requirement to install more than two beacons. 11. etc. to ensure the warning signals can be seen from a helicopter from all approach directions. 207 .

4. escape. helideck lighting) or safety information (e. 11.g. 11. escape or rescue to avoid or minimise a major accident. or (ii) the need (whether or not by reason of fire or explosion) for evacuation. It is recommended the ‘critical’ helideck electrical systems should be designed: • • To be powered from an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) With two separate cable and supply systems for each of the lighting circuits.1 General The Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion.g. installation to helicopter communications and status lights) will seriously compromise flight safety and potentially jeopardise a safe landing. recovery and rescue to avoid or minimise a major accident. any failure of a helideck system intended to provide visual cues (e. The establishment of appropriate standards of performance to be attained by anything provided by measures for.5 FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS 11. Load transfer for these systems should be immediate. Often the lights are connected to the emergency generator / switchboard and that may take 15 to 45 seconds to come on line. The evaluation of the likelihood and consequences of such events.It is also very important to note that once a pilot has committed to land on an offshore helideck. and Emergency Response) Regulations (SI 1995/7434) require in Regulation 5 the Duty Holder to perform an assessment which shall consist (to quote from the regulations): a) The identification of the various events which could give rise to: (i) a major accident involving fire or explosion. and 208 b) c) . (i) ensuring effective evacuation.5.2 Design Considerations NOTE: During helideck inspections it is generally found that the perimeter and floodlights are not connected to an UPS.

11. With regard to helicopter emergencies. as far as is reasonably practical. 4.(ii) d) otherwise protecting persons from a major fire or explosion. 3.5. and The selection of appropriate measures. The means to be provided to achieve these aims. 2.2 Main References In addition to the PFEER requirements. 11. should include equipment and facilities to allow: 1. Rapid control of running fires and pool fires in all helicopter operating wind conditions 2. Regulation 7 requires the Duty Holder to ensure that equipment necessary for use in the event of an accident involving a helicopter is kept available near the helicopter landing area. Further references are also provided by the following UKOOA Guidelines: • • Fire and Explosion Hazard Management [Ref: 52] The Management of Emergency Response for Offshore Installations.3 Firefighting Safety Goals and Objectives The goals of a helideck firefighting / hazard control system are to achieve the following: 1.5. The equipment provided will also need to comply with Regulation 19(1). Rapid control and smoke suppression during internal helicopter fires 209 . The preservation of life and rescue of helicopter occupants in a fire or crash situation The containment and extinguishment of the fire within the crash area The minimisation of exposure of helideck crews to fire and crash effects The minimisation of minor incidents to prevent escalation. detailed firefighting requirements for a helicopter landing area are also contained in CAP 437 and are based on international aviation standards and recommended practices contained in ICAO and IMO requirements.

6. avionics bays Containment and security of unignited (or extinguished) fuel Rapid escape from the helideck area irrespective of location of the incident Ready availability and adequate protection of crash rescue and personnel protection equipment from weather and fire/crash effects. 210 . 5. failure to provide clear evacuation routes could result in trip hazards. in most cases. Achievement of the above objectives should be the prime consideration when selecting equipment. Typical methods of meeting 1. engines. This supposes that design. Good maintenance of equipment. 5 and 6. meet objective 1 above. All equipment should ideally have adequate capacity and discharge rates. or a compromise of escape arrangements. e. provided that this use does not inhibit their primary function of protecting the helideck. whilst being flexible and easy to use and deployable for use inside the aircraft and in specialist areas such as engines. with either manual or remote operated equipment. Rapid control of other fires likely to be encountered.3. Proprietary equipment can. maintenance and operation are satisfactory. With particular reference to 5. Sound design and layout of the helideck and its associated facilities will achieve objectives 4. 2 and 3 are through manual intervention using portable equipment (complementary media) or by foam / water hand lines fitted with an adjustable nozzle. Technical advances and changes in international protocol are affecting the provision of complementary media and consideration should be given to proven alternates and replacements. adequate operating procedures and personnel training are necessary for continued achievement of the objectives. 4. Helideck monitors may be positioned to allow them to cover adjacent areas of the installation.g.

5 Design Criteria for Foam Systems Foam systems should be specified to achieve: • • • Adequate coverage of the helideck safe landing area Adequate application rates and foam quality Adequate response time and duration of application 211 . These requirements should be considered carefully when designing any system as well as during subsequent testing and maintenance. The effectiveness of a foam system depends on five criteria: • • • • • Speed of response Reliability Coverage Quantity Quality of the foam. The incident may not remain confined to the landing area and it is always possible that the aircraft may not remain in an upright position. It is generally agreed that foam systems are currently the best method of achieving rapid control of fires involving fuel spillage. The following factors should be considered: • • • • • The crewing of the installation and the practicalities of operating the system if it is normally unattended The frequency of flights The firefighting infrastructure on the installation (firepumps) Legislation Refuelling operations.11. the practicalities of installing and operating the system.5.4 Requirements of a Foam System The need for a fixed firefighting system should be determined by assessing the risks to personnel. and the contribution the system makes to preserve life.5. The possibility of a helicopter adopting a less than favourable final resting position after an incident should be taken into account. Weather conditions should also be taken into account. 11.

Lightweight foam branch lines should augment fixed systems. designs are unable to compensate for wind direction or the specific characteristics of a particular incident. other than NUIs.5. However. and it is important that they be capable of rapid disengagement of the oscillating mechanism and reversion to manual operation.14 – Typical oscillating fire monitor arrangement 212 . 11. • Oscillating monitors combined with remote actuation have the advantage of unmanned operation that enhances the safety of operations during take-off and landing.5. Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS – Pop-up foam head system) may also be considered.Rescue and Firefighting Facilities.1 General Monitors are the most commonly chosen method of foam application for installation / vessel helidecks. For further guidance on DIFFS consult the CAA. However.6 Design Considerations for Monitor Systems 11.6. (Photograph courtesy of Angus Fire) Figure 11. The following points should be considered in the design of any such monitor system: • Manual monitors are generally more flexible than self oscillating types but serious consideration should be given to shielding the operators from crash effects.• Suitability for the environmental conditions including low temperatures and strong winds. For guidance to achieve these specifications see CAP 437 .

but when wind effects and escape route locations are taken into account. When designing a monitor system it is imperative to ensure that the overall height of the monitors relative to the helideck surface is adequate to ensure that the foam / water output can be properly applied to any part of the helideck. The height dimension should not exceed 250mm (see CAP 437). Where adjustable inductor mechanisms are installed. the designer should seek the advice of CAA or BHAB Helidecks. The monitor settings should be regularly checked. 213 . Where it becomes apparent that the height limitation may potentially be infringed.g. Location Monitors (particularly oscillating types) should be located so that they do not inhibit access to escape routes from the helideck and should not be located directly at the exits. Calculations of monitor coverage and foam spread might suggest that two monitors would be sufficient for smaller helidecks. On spray setting. but monitors with excessive dwell times at the limit of their travel would exaggerate these effects. Consideration should be given to specifying self-inducing foam nozzles with top entry foam input. Location and Operating Considerations Numbers The size of most helidecks will require a minimum of two monitors (if installed) but on larger helidecks three may be necessary.5. Operating Considerations Oscillating monitors are effective but do not always give a continuous rate of application.2 Numbers.5 bar is not likely to be sufficient to overcome the worst weather conditions likely to be encountered.6.11. the optimum arrangement is three monitors unless other means of providing adequate foam cover are available (e. it is essential to ensure the settings are correct for the percentage compound in use. this is not critical. This arrangement should prevent contamination of the stored concentrate. foam branch pipes or foam / water hosereels). A nozzle pressure of less than 5. This can be assured by fitting a locking system to the ‘change lever’.

The compound can be supplied in various percentages of concentration.Oscillating monitors should not be left pre-set on straight jet because of the hazards to escaping personnel and the relative ineffectiveness of the agent when applied in this manner. Operating levers are preferred to wheels for physically actuating the monitor controls. NOTE: The performance standard is currently under review by European Aviation Authorities and may be subject to change in the future. where practical. that duty holders select a 3% or 6% Type B foam concentrate. duty holders should consider the requirement stated in CAP 437 to conduct annual tests of all parts of the foam production system including the finished foam. 11. Supply and Storage Foam Type The preferred compound for the helideck foam system is a low expansion. 3% and 6% foams have a significantly greater range of acceptable operating tolerances when compared with 1% foams and.g.5. the HLO should be able to identify whether the foam monitors supply aspirated or non-aspirated foam and be knowledgeable of the delivery rate of the system. UK CAA recommends. Output of the monitors should be sufficient such that in the event of failure of one unit the remaining units can satisfy the helideck firefighting 214 . dependent on the operating region). 5. NOTE: When selecting suitable 'Type B' foam concentrates. Supply The system should be capable of continuously supplying foam (aspirated or nonaspirated) for at least 10 minutes at a rate not less than that prescribed by ICAO for Performance Level ‘B’ standard foam (e.5 litres per square metre per minute).3 Foam Type. high performance AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) which is freeze protected (to at least -3°C. Monitors should be fitted with individual isolation valves suitably protected from potential crash damage. During helideck inspections. with this in mind.6.

Proportioning accuracy of – 0% and +0. Storage Many installations and vessels have. • • 215 .requirements for the largest helicopter certified to use the helideck. in the past. a fire main with quiescent pressurisation). Full details should be provided to operations. Where foam is delivered from the monitors non-aspirated.g. Ensuring an immediate firefighting response at the helideck will require a readily available firewater supply at sufficient pressure to operate the monitors (e. The advantages of a centralised system are: • Less space required for equipment on the helideck monitor / access platforms • Reduced foam storage tank system(s) maintenance.05% should be specified. The disadvantages of this type of system are: • The helideck monitors rely entirely on a remote foam supply (some distance from helideck) The system will invariably suffer a time delay getting foam to the monitor nozzles • Any contamination of foam concentrate in the central storage tank will render the helideck non-operational A ‘one shot’ system should be avoided because the system cannot be operated without ruining the whole charge of concentrate. It also limits opportunities for taking foam samples for analysis. specified central foam storage systems with either a pressurised ‘bag tank’ or pumped supply system. there must be a system for providing aspirated foam to the Safe Landing Area (SLA) at the prescribed minimum delivery rate. particularly when using 1% AFFF compound.

the helideck remains operational • Easier replenishment of foam tanks Disadvantages of separate foam storage tanks are: • More space required on helideck monitor / access platforms to house the equipment Additional equipment to maintain. The systems should be tested annually and ‘finished’ foam samples should be analysed in a laboratory at regular intervals. Thus if 3 monitors are installed and the helideck foam system is sized to provide coverage with any 2 monitors.Separate foam storage tanks located adjacent to each of the foam monitors are preferred because they offer: • • Quicker response times for foam production Any contamination of concentrate should be confined to one monitor.6.4 Remote Operation Monitors should be capable of remote initiation if not manned during helicopter landings. sufficient drum stock to re-charge the systems. 216 .5. The selection of an appropriate storage area for the back-up foam supply should take into account potential exposure to contaminants and to adverse weather conditions that may affect the product performance. 11. • NOTE: A ‘Certificate of Conformity’ should be available on the installation / vessel verifying the quality of the concentrate and foam mixture for the monitors and supplementary systems. Apart from the foam concentrate contained in the system(s) tankage there is a requirement to maintain on board.

switches etc. 217 . With remote operation capability. in addition to the monitors.7 Water / Foam Systems The provision of a water / foam hosereel system.5. provides greater operational flexibility when dealing with an aircraft fire or aviation fuel spillage. Also. helideck crewmembers are potentially less exposed to the fire hazard.Typical monitor control panel with properly identified operating valves for each monitor mounted externally The controls. Remote activation is operationally advantageous where the number of helideck crew members are limited. if the monitors are correctly set to douse the fire area. for foam systems should be arranged in such a way that the foam supply starts automatically or can be initiated at the activation point for the monitors.15 . the systems can be set up prior to use so as to avoid the necessity to operate each of the monitor valves independently before the system can be used.(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. 11.

skid mounted units can be obtained which provide the designer with flexibility for locating the unit on the perimeter of larger helidecks. these units come fully equipped with a jet / fog nozzle and branchpipe and approximately 30 metres of 1½’ hose. and their output is significantly less than a monitor.5. self-contained.Typical helideck foam / water hosereel cabinet These units are supplementary to the main system.8 Hydrant Systems and Equipment Hydrant systems. 11.16 . (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. foam branch pipes and nozzles are normally provided as supplements to the foam / water monitor system. For ease of use the hand lines should be approximately 1½’’ diameter. in-line foam inductors.Compact. The foam making capability (supply time) will be entirely dependent on the size of the storage tank and the foam fill. hoses. Normally. On very large helidecks hose length may need to be increased. It is essential to ensure there is sufficient hose length available to reach around the helideck easily. 218 . outwith the zones that have a height restriction. NOTE: On helideck inspections it is sometimes found that there are insufficient hand hose lines to reach all parts of the helideck.

the designer should consider the operational benefits of using a 1½’ system. weatherproof cabinets adjacent to the hydrants. etc. Nowadays. When hydrants are specified for use in conjunction with an in-line foam inductor (with standpipe inserted into foam drum stock) and a foam branch pipe. The positioning and selection (e. It should be noted that under normal operating conditions it takes two people to control a 2½’ hose which would give the greater discharge for directing the nozzle stream at a fire. NOTE: Whichever system is used it is vital that the settings are fixed to the correct concentrate percentage (e.Hydrants and Hoses Hydrants with flaked hose lines are often specified as supplementary equipment to the fire monitors. 3 or 6%) to avoid inadvertent adjustment that will inevitably degrade the quality of delivered foam. 1. They can also be portable. should be properly stored in easily accessible. for example when used with drum stock. 219 . They can be mounted in a fixed position on foam storage tanks supplying concentrate to monitors or hosereel systems.g. proper consideration should be given to the time and effort required to assemble the equipment and for it to be used effectively.g.. straight or 45° angled couplings) of hydrant outlet types on helidecks (that are normally located on the monitor platforms) must take into account the available space and the lay and curvature of fire hoses when they are under pressure in a confined space. On older installations and vessels 2½’ diameter units were often specified. Serious thought should be given to the practical use and application of this type of equipment if it is being considered for ‘new build’ or modified helidecks. Foam Inductors Foam inductors are used to proportion foam concentrate correctly into the fire water stream. nozzles. Flaked Hoses.

17 – Typical example of In-Line Foam Inductors (Note stand pipe for use with foam drum stock) Foam Branch Pipes Foam branch pipes (low expansion) can be used in conjunction with both hydrant and hoses or hose reel systems. Their purpose is to generate aspirated foam to assist with good fire control. (Photograph courtesy of Angus Fire) Figure 11. Branch pipes offer a flexible solution for gaining access to the seat of a helicopter fire where monitors may not be able to direct their foam streams effectively. the branch pipes should be equipped with a shut off valve.18 – Typical examples of low expansion foam branch pipes (Note: these examples are not equipped with integral shut-off valves) 220 .(Photograph courtesy of Angus Fire) Figure 11. Ideally.

(Photograph courtesy of Angus Fire) Figure 11. Nozzles A variety of jet / fog nozzles are available for firefighting duty. The primary consideration when specifying them for use offshore is their ease of use and durability. When they are located on site. These incidents may include: • • • • Engine fires Avionic bay fires Transmission and hydraulic area fires Minor fuel leaks / fires. this equipment is not always found available at the helideck.5.19 – Typical nozzle for water / foam jet or spray application 11. To deal readily with such incidents.9 Complementary Media A variety of minor fire incidents can be encountered during helicopter / helideck operations. suitable and sufficient extinguishants should be provided as noted in CAP 437. 221 . The media commonly used are dry powder and CO2. they are often poorly maintained.NOTE: During helideck inspections. Proper storage should be provided adjacent to the helideck.

hand portable units can be more useful in some minor firefighting applications (e. It should be noted that when specifying media for engine etc. For the helideck. However. However.g. failure or inadvertent operation of the lance extension is avoided. within a helicopter). bay fires.5. NOTE: During helideck inspections. it is essential to check that the design of the locking ring to extend the lance is both secure and easy to operate. when in use. and can be properly secured (particularly on moving helidecks).11. it is commonly found that fire extinguishers are poorly located and their test dates have expired. 11.9.9. trolley mounted units provide the quantities specified in CAP 437.20 – Example of recessed platform for trolley mounted extinguisher Recessed platforms can be built into the helideck perimeter at appropriate locations. This is to ensure that. coincident with the perimeter safety net.2 Location One of the main problems with trolley mounted extinguishers on helidecks is finding good storage locations where the equipment does not infringe height restrictions.5. an extendable lance applicator should be included. They should be capable of restraining the trolley when stowed but should not be too deep or too steep to 222 . is both accessible and easily moved onto the helideck. NOT TO SCALE Height of Perimeter Safety Net Trolley Mounted Fire Extinguisher ‘h’ not to exceed 250mm ‘h’ Helideck Surface Figure 11.1 Specification Complementary media are readily available in portable form either hand carried and / or trolley mounted.

2 Helideck Surveillance Helideck surveillance both during helicopter operations and at other times is prudent installation or vessel management and can be achieved in a number of ways. providing helideck fire detection and surveillance arrangements would be consistent with normal installation / vessel emergency control philosophies.5. MCPs should also be located strategically by the dispenser.prevent easy manhandling of the trolley by one person. Consistent with normal installation and vessel fire detection and protection practices. Where an aviation refuelling facility is installed. pumping unit and bulk helifuel storage areas. these will be located at each fire monitor / helideck access platform.5. the helideck should be designated a fire area and be assigned an area on the Central Fire Control Panel. 11.1 Equipment Specification Strategically located Manual Call Points (MCPs) should be installed on the helideck. 223 . From an offshore installation / vessel operations viewpoint. 11. Therefore. The assumption is that during helicopter operations the HLO and helideck crew will be in the immediate vicinity of the helideck and they are responsible for ensuring an initial emergency response to fire and crash scenarios that may affect a helicopter. After the initial helideck crew response. back-up can be obtained from the installation / vessel fire and emergency teams. etc. the management of all emergencies that have potential for jeopardising the safety of the installation / vessel.10.5.10 Helideck Fire Detection There is no stated requirement in CAP 437 for providing fixed fire detection on the helideck. The MCPs should be connected to annunciators on the Central Fire Control Panel. 11. must immediately be identified and centrally co-ordinated. Normally. Platform width should be kept to the minimum required for the trolley(s) in order to reduce loss of the Perimeter Safety Net coverage. if required. Methods currently used are as follows and the option selected should be based on a practical assessment of the helideck location and the installation or vessels role.10.

6. Closed Circuit Television ‘panning’ the helideck with a monitor at a permanently manned control point.• Visual monitoring from a permanently manned control point (CCR. unattended installations.2 for normally • 11. 11. bow or stern mounted. elevated or at main deck level) and the 224 . access and lighting at the storage locations is often poor. ready for operations. Chapter 5. kept in complete and serviceable condition. 11.g. On larger helidecks it may be considered appropriate to provide more than one set of crash rescue equipment. location can be slightly more difficult and is dependent on helideck location (e.6.6.1 Location An ideal location for Crash Rescue Equipment on installations is on the monitor / access platforms providing there is sufficient space available and the cabinet or chest can be protected from a conflagration on the helideck. The equipment must be easily accessed by the helideck / fire crew. and be ready for use in the vicinity of the helideck.6 RESCUE EQUIPMENT PROVISIONS Helicopter crash rescue equipment is a fundamental component of a properly prepared and certified offshore helideck. On vessels.2. Bridge or HLO Cabin) through a window overlooking the helideck. See also Section 8.2 Rescue Equipment Cabinets The provision of at least one set of helicopter crash rescue equipment is required in order to support helideck firefighting and rescue activities.1 Main References CAP 437. if it is likely that a single set of equipment could be compromised as a result of a helicopter crash. it is often found that the crash rescue equipment is incomplete and in poor condition. 11. NOTE: During helideck inspections. Also. This case may arise if gaining quick access to a single set is difficult or.

In this case it is imperative to consider the location very carefully so as to avoid hindering personnel escape from the helideck and causing problems for the helideck / fire crew in retrieving the equipment when needed. The choice of either a cabinet or chest will be dependent upon available space to meet the basic requirement for good. long-term equipment storage. the cabinet / chest can be located in close proximity to the helideck on an adjacent access walkway or stairway platform. the internals of the cabinet should include hooks and clips to secure each individual piece of equipment and silhouettes to assist with easy location.6. 225 .2. Normally the cabinets are manufactured from high quality GRP (glass re-inforced plastic) supplied ready coloured in RED.availability of suitable adjacent space. by placing the cabinet adjacent to general walkway lights or vice versa). Alternatively. The cabinet door / lid design should incorporate a storm proof seal. 11. the designer should ensure that the internals can be illuminated by some form of local lighting (e. Inside the door / lid a suitable arrangement should be provided to hold the inventory checklist. Ideally. Placing the cabinet / chest where several stairs have to be negotiated is not acceptable.2 Equipment Specification Helicopter Rescue Equipment cabinets should be robustly constructed and suitably protected from the marine environment.g. Wherever the Crash Rescue Equipment Cabinet(s) are located. robust hinges and secure locking arrangements. keeping the equipment in good condition and for easy inventory checking. Drainage / ventilation holes should be incorporated into the cabinet or an alternate means employed to prevent condensation. there may be space available behind the bridge wings. On foredeck-mounted helidecks. Door / lid stays should be provided. A cabinet style arrangement is the preferred option because it provides easier access to the equipment.

(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.21 – Typical chest type crash rescue equipment storage (Photograph courtesy of Bristol Uniforms Ltd) Figure 11.22 – Typical cabinet type crash rescue equipment storage 226 .

Should the designer be required to procure the crash rescue tools and equipment.6. 227 .4 Helideck / Firefighting Team Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) 11. consultation with the installation operator.3. Detailed specifications for this equipment can be found in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49]. the provision of crash rescue equipment has often resulted in individual pieces (e.1 Introduction The PPE for helideck crews is sometimes specified and procured by the Facilities Design Contractor or it may be sub-contracted to a helideck equipment supplier as part of the overall helideck miscellaneous equipment procurement.3 Rescue Equipment Inventory CAP 437 lists the minimum emergency rescue equipment that is required to be located in the vicinity of the helideck. tools) being incorrectly selected and frequent replacement in the field due to poor quality.g. 11.6. MODU or vessel operating company Safety or Aviation Department to establish whether they employ standard equipment throughout their operations and whether they use a preferred supplier. MODU or vessel owner is strongly recommended in order to establish the preferred suppliers. Regardless of who is responsible for specifying helideck crew PPE it is essential that the correct items be procured.6. Detailed specifications can be found in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49].1 Equipment Specifications Historically. contact is made with the installation.6. 11.11. It is strongly recommended that prior to specifying any helideck crew PPE. The largest helicopter for which the helideck is certified determines the scale of equipment.4.

If intending not to provide on-board refuelling on a fixed installation or floating structure.7. it is important to discuss nonprovision of refuelling facilities on an offshore installation or vessel with the installation operator. maintaining and operating a helicopter refuelling system reference should be made to CAP 437. MODU or vessels owner and helicopter operator.7. A decision should only be made after consultation with either the installation operating company aviation or logistics representative.11.7 HELICOPTER REFUELLING 11. Therefore.7. It should be noted that the CAA also imposes requirements on helicopter operators when planning offshore fuel diversions. etc. 11.2 Main References When designing. Chapter 7 – Helicopter Fuelling Facilities. Allowances should be made for unusable fuel. helicopter operator or other specialist. risks associated with increased take offs and landings) 228 . the following factors should be properly evaluated and mitigated: • The ready availability of alternate refuelling options within a short distance of the installation or vessel • The increased risks likely to be incurred when alternate offshore refuelling sites have to be used (i. potential re-supply problems (e.e. There is no legal requirement to hold and dispense aviation fuel but if a system is provided it must be guaranteed to produce clean fuel.1 Introduction The decision to include a refuelling system in the facilities design is purely an operational one. 11.3 Operational Considerations Consideration to provide Jet-A1 refuelling facilities should be given where the distance from shore to an installation or vessel (with an operational helideck) exceeds 50 nautical miles.g. The potential uplift of aviation fuel during operations should be properly calculated and the results used to dictate minimum system sizing. emergency reserves. weather delay).

7.4 General Design Considerations 11. System components such as the storage tanks and skid mounted pumping. It is particularly important to note that the storage facility will require an adequate fire detection / protection system (all round deluge coverage is the preferred solution) and adequate containment and drainage systems. This system should be an integral part of the installation / vessel loss control specification. • 11.• The increased cost of using alternate offshore refuelling sites.1 General The design and construction of an aviation refuelling system requires careful consideration to ensure that the equipment can be safely and efficiently operated and maintained.4. Aviation fuel tankage should be located where potential fire risks do not imperil the installation / vessel. Aviation Fuel transportable tanks should be located in a bunded area separated from other bulk liquid supplies. these costs can be very high over the ‘life of installation’ due to the additional flying time involved The potential for increased operating expense due to logistical delays. Potentially. The connecting pipework and storage tank areas are usually the domain of a vessel builder / module fabricator.2 Aviation Fuel Storage Aviation fuel storage areas on offshore installations and vessels require considerable thought during their design. metering and dispenser units are generally designed. It is equally important that aviation fuel transportable storage tanks are located where they are easily accessible by the installation or vessel cranes to facilitate resupply. 11. 229 . fabricated and supplied by specialist manufacturers.7. Also.4. The number of tanks and their capacities will be dictated by the aviation fuel requirements calculated for the operation.7. the storage tanks should be in an area where they are free of ‘dropped object’ risks from routine crane operations. The bunded area should be sized to contain at least 110% times the volume of the largest sized transportation tank used. There may be one or more areas and they may contain fixed or transportable tanks or a combination of both.

This is particularly important on floating structures and vessels where restraining the tanks from movement due to vessel motions should be fully taken into account. or where no fixed tanks are used. gallon capacity. rigid pipe system will normally be installed for interconnecting fixed aviation fuel storage tanks to the pumping system (skid mounted).7. The supply to fixed aviation fuel storage from transportable tanks. 230 .4. 11. A suitably specified. gallon or 1000 imp. these tanks are supplied with either 600 imp. (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. will normally be achieved by using flexible hoses from each transportable tank coupled to a rigid piped gallery.23 – Typical aviation fuel transportable tank in bunded area To assist with locating the transportable tanks during loading or back loading. the bunded area should have a substantial purpose made steel frame around its perimeter to act as a guide and buffer system.Generally. It is imperative that the flexible hose.3 Aviation Fuel Pumping System The aviation fuel pumping system and ancillary equipment (normally skid mounted) should be designed and located to achieve good operating efficiency with easy access for routine maintenance. coupling and tank are all properly bonded.

(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. supply system.4.24 – Typical aviation fuel pump skid 11. ancillary equipment. stand-by and manual systems should be designed and located to achieve good operating efficiency.4 Aviation Fuel Dispenser The aviation fuel dispenser.25– Example of aviation fuel dispenser skid with low overall height 231 .7.

water / rain ingress).26 – Example of aviation fuel dispenser with high overall height. Skid positioning on the helideck along with layout of the skid system components and any access panels should fully take into account routine and annual maintenance programmes (e. The skid should have a ‘steady red’ light mounted on the top and connected to the system to indicate when the system is in operation.4.5 Miscellaneous Provisions Fuel Quality System design and quality control procedures should be stringently followed in order to ensure that fuel dispensed is fit for aviation purposes. Routine fuel system and fuel quality checks should be capable of being carried out simply and easily without risk of contamination (e. filter pack removal). 11.g.g.(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. routine maintenance and annual strip down. 232 . inspection and recertification. adjacent to the safe landing area needs to be well thought out to ensure safe and easy access for refuelling operations. The light should be visible from all areas of the helideck.7. Positioning adjacent to the helideck is critical to avoid infringing obstacle clearances Locating the fuel dispenser skid on the helideck.

27 – Interior of Dispenser showing securely mounted. Additionally.Materials of Construction Material selection is very important to ensure that system integrity and aviation fuel cleanliness is always maintained. Refuelling Couplings Pressure and open line fuel delivery nozzles should be provided. (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. hand retractable bonding cable (quick disconnect plug arrowed) and pressure refuelling coupling fitted 233 . retractable bonding cable (hand. For this reason stainless steel piping and components are used throughout. See Figure 11.29. Aircraft Bonding Cable and Reel The dispenser must be equipped with a securely mounted. See Figure 11.28 and 11. appropriate Hazchem labels should be sited at fuel storage and dispenser locations. pneumatic or electric powered) with a substantial insulated crocodile clip and quick disconnect plug incorporated into the cable at the aircraft end (in the event that the helicopter departs with the bonding cable still attached). System Colour Coding and Identification Markings Jet-A1 fuel system components should be correctly marked with the appropriate vessel and piping product identification codes.27.

28 – Typical aviation fuel identification markings used on pipework with flow arrow incorporated (Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. Note also specification plate and inspection labels 234 .(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.29 – Typical aviation fuel identification markings used on major components.

During a design and construction project aeronautical communications equipment will often be specified as part of a total package for the installation or vessel. It should also be noted that all aeronautical frequencies (NDB and R/T) are subject to international protocols and are controlled in the UK solely by ATSSD. etc. Meteorological data (See Section 11. This time period should be built into the project programme.9) is also an essential part of the information communicated to flight crews during offshore helicopter operations. Applications to CAA ATSSD will be required for using the specified equipment and for frequency allocations. 11. 235 . there are specific radio and navigation equipment requirements for supporting offshore helideck operations.8. It is therefore important for helideck designers dealing with the aeronautical communications requirement to liase with project and / or company communication specialists. The designated radio callsign must be the same as the helideck and installation / vessel identification markings. Chapter 6.11. Callsign approval is also required. In the UK.1 Introduction Communications equipment is a key part of helicopter operations in an offshore environment. Guidance and approval for all items of air-band radio equipment. should be obtained from the Air Traffic Safety Standards Department (ATSSD) of the CAA at Gatwick. The procedures and practical mechanisms for helicopter communications should be considered in conjunction with the equipment arrangements provided for aeronautical communications.8. This procedure requires completion and submission of official forms to CAA ATSSD and the process takes a considerable time to conclude. This should ensure that efficient and approved system coverage is obtained.2 Main References CAP 437.8 COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT 11.

3.3. so providing a low noise area should be the objective. causing infringements in obstruction free areas). The use of a PC based system (e.1 Equipment Location Locations for the aeronautical communications and weather information control equipment can vary considerably depending on the designated command and control points of an installation or vessel. in order to provide good operating efficiency. Weather Windows) for recording and displaying the full range of meteorological measurements in a single package should be seriously considered. vessel motions are part of routine communications with flight crews and the information should be readily available at the aeronautical communications control point. on the Bridge of a vessel or in an area adjacent to heli-admin.8. Wherever it is decided to locate the aeronautical communications. etc. where practicable. 236 .8.3. This may include locating the aeronautical communications in a purpose made radio room or helideck control cabin. Background noise can seriously affect good radio communications. The NDB aerial is often a ‘loop’ type and is strung around the perimeter structure of the helideck (See Section 9. Similar to meteorological information.11. they should ideally be grouped together in an ergonomic manner. the Central Control Room (CCR).11 for more details). Location of Equipment and Aerials 11.2 Aerials and Sensors The siting of all types of communication aerials (usually ‘whip’ aerials) is often a source of problems for helicopter operations (e. Meteorological information is a key item during communications with offshore helicopter flight crews. On floating structures and vessels it is important to include the motion recording equipment (whether PC based or analogue instrument system) into the basic design considerations for aeronautical communications.g.g. 11. This will allow the Radio Operator / HLO to effectively make contact with helicopter flight crews during flight to pass relevant information during helideck operations and to record routine communications (in the radio log).8. therefore the communications equipment and weather station instrument indicators are best sited adjacent to each other.

Equally. the environment around an offshore helideck during helicopter movements can seriously affect the operation and accuracy of remote sensors (anemometers in particular) as a result of the ‘rotor downwash’. Also. particularly where there is no purpose built radio tower on installations and floating structures. 11.Finding suitable aerial locations for good equipment performance and access for maintenance can be difficult and areas around the helideck perimeter are often chosen as a matter of convenience. so this should be fully taken into account.4 Aeronautical VHF Radio 237 . remote sensors for meteorological instruments should not be sited where they may adversely impact helideck operations. It is imperative that helideck designers in conjunction with communications specialists plan the siting of aerials to ensure that they do not adversely impact helideck operations. Vessels pose less of a problem because often there is a suitable platform on the bridge top.8.

It is because of the hostile environments that offshore helicopters encounter at sea and the remote locations of the landing sites. The screen should be located and positioned such that it can be easily viewed and the sound system should be adequate to ensure that the instructions given can be seen and heard by all persons in the briefing / departure area. 11.9 Video Briefing System Facilities for providing pre-flight briefings to helicopter passengers should be provided in the flight departure area or another suitable location. The equipment usually comprises a simple monitor screen and a remotely located (e. whilst on the ground and in the air.9 METEOROLOGICAL EQUIPMENT 11.access points to the helideck (e. Offshore helicopter operations are equally as dependent.1 Equipment Specification The established installation operator or vessel owner will probably have a contract in place with an approved ‘video briefing’ service provider to generally provide the playback equipment and briefing media that meets the legal requirements of the contracted helicopter operator(s). in HLO office) VCR or DVD type player.1 Introduction Flight crews involved in all types of aviation activity are heavily dependent upon comprehensive and accurate meteorological information to properly plan their flights and to maintain a high level of flight safety. accurate information is required for the onshore departure 240 .g. this will dictate the media and equipment to be specified.8. The media may be video laser disc (DVD) or videotape.8.9. Where the installation operator or vessel owner has a number of established facilities / vessels and uses a particular helicopter operator and helicopter types to support his operation. on acquiring good meteorological information. 11.g.9. base of stairways) to provide better general coverage and to place them in a less noisy environment. 11. Helideck designers should establish with the installation operator or vessel owner which ‘briefing’ system and equipment should be provided. if not more so.

Suitable equipment should be provided and the sensor / read out locations optimised to provide an accurate means for ascertaining: • • • Windspeed and direction (at the general location and over the helideck) Air temperature (ambient air temperature and at the helideck location) Barometric pressure (ambient pressure and at the helideck elevation). Therefore. anemometers and barometers) are unavailable or out of date. Chapter 6. A copy of these records should also be available on the installation or vessel.airfield. 11. air temperature probe. 11.3 Equipment Requirements A windsock. for the general navigation area and at the offshore installation or vessel destination. In addition to these basic meteorological parameters flight crews also require accurate measurements of: 241 . often grossly inaccurate. NOTE: During offshore helideck inspections it is often found that meteorological instrument calibration certificates (e. and barometric pressure instrumentation are the minimum equipment requirements for providing flight crews with essential offshore meteorological information.g. properly calibrated instrumentation to enable accurate meteorological and flight information to be given to helicopter flight crews is an essential feature of helideck systems design for offshore operations. offshore weather reports from installations and vessels have generally been of poor quality. airspeed indicator.9. Historically. It is essential the initial calibration documents be passed to the Operator’s Maintenance Department to establish a suitable record keeping process during operations.2 Main References CAP 437.9. probably with the exception of those facilities equipped with automatic weather stations or staffed by meteorological specialists.

See also Sections 11.• • Visibility. 242 . Ideally. recording and data transmission package. start-up and take-off.2 for information about locating the meteorological equipment and sensors.4. Essentially. The windsock(s) should be of suitable size and located in optimum location(s) to ensure they can operate efficiently and do not provide spurious wind speed and direction indications. without infringing the obstruction free area. Another windsock should be located in the vicinity of the helideck.3.9. preferably two windsocks should be installed on all installations and vessels.8. to provide an indication of local windflows at the landing site. however the results are often poor.1 and 11. Observation and estimation can be used to obtain visibility and cloudbase readings. 11. landing.8.1 Windsock(s) At least one. Location One windsock should be located in ‘free air’ at a high point on the installation / vessel where it can operate in windflows unaffected by the structure of the facility and is easily visible to approaching helicopters.3. and Cloud base. windsock(s) give flight crews an instantaneous visual clue of the immediate wind environment during approach. 11. shut down. Anemometers provide an accurate means for the HLO (or Radio Operator) to transmit wind velocity and direction to the flight crews prior to departure and at any stage during the flight.4 Wind Velocity and Direction Measuring Equipment Obtaining the wind velocity and direction for the general area around the installation or vessel and over the helideck is achieved by installing windsock(s) and anemometer(s). specialised equipment should be provided as part of a total aeronautical meteorological measurement.9.

sock and lighting) A swivel assembly (designed for long life and low maintenance) A windsock (say.coloured international orange) A lighting system (to illuminate the sock either internally or externally). 2 metres long x 600mm diameter .(Photograph courtesy of BP plc) Figure 11. Where integral lighting systems are employed it is imperative that the specification takes into proper account the rating and security of any electrical slip ring arrangements.3. See Figure 11.7.31 for the mechanical components of a typical windsock arrangement.30 – Windsock in highly visible location on NUI (only one windsock required in this case) Equipment Specification Purpose built equipment should be specified that incorporates: • • • • A folding mast (to assist with maintenance of the swivel assembly. 243 . Windsock lighting systems are discussed in more detail in Section 11.

600 mm Diameter) Support Mast with Folding Arrangement (Overall Height determined by location) NOT TO SCALE Figure 11. In addition. 244 . Locating anemometers on DP (Dynamically Positioned) vessels is a particularly important exercise because the outputs are often linked to the DP system.3. that may spuriously affect vessel heading control. The instrument should be located at a convenient control point adjacent to the helideck. when required.31 – Typical windsock mechanical assembly (lighting omitted for clarity) 11.8. 2 metres Sock Support Ring Sock Restraint Cage / Cables Sock Envelope (Approx.2 Anemometers At least one fixed anemometer should be installed on all installations and vessels. etc. It is vital to pick sensor locations that ensure an accurate readout of the wind conditions over the vessel but at the same time the sensors do not pick up helicopter ‘downwash’. Indicator Location The wind speed indicator should be located at a suitable control point where the HLO and / or Radio Operator can easily obtain readings to transmit to the flight crews (See Sections 11.1).9. Sensor Location A fixed anemometer should be provided and located in ‘free air’ at a high point on the installation or vessel where it can operate in windflows unaffected by the structure of the facility.4. a hand held anemometer should be provided to allow the HLO to acquire actual helideck deck wind velocity readings.Swivel Head Assembly Approx.

etc.5 Air Temperature Measuring Equipment Ambient air temperatures taken at least 10 metres above sea level and the air temperature immediately over the helideck are required by the HLO to pass operational information to flight crews. Either digital or analogue readout systems are acceptable. Any significant temperature variation (from ambient) over the helideck (e.9. resulting from exhaust plumes) should be recorded and the information passed to the flight crews by the HLO. To be effective.(Photograph courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11. the sensors and temperature indicator should provide a rapid response to temperature changes. The ambient air temperature is required for flight crews to compute aircraft payload. 245 .32 – An example of a good folding mast system with a poorly installed windsock (windsock too small and restraint cables too long) 11.g.

6. 246 .1 Sensor Location Where the equipment has a remote sensor then its location at helideck level (as near as practical to the helideck height) will follow the same principles used for locating other meteorological equipment in respect of security from damage and maintenance.6 Barometric Pressure Measuring Equipment Barometric Pressure is used to provide information to flight crews for them to accurately establish their correct altitude relative to the fixed elevation height of the helideck at the destination installation or vessel. It is imperative that the information (QNH is essential.5. 11. is both accurate and current.9. 11.9. In particular the sensor for obtaining ambient air temperature should be sited where it is unaffected by transient operating conditions.6.2 Indicator Location The barometric pressure indicator(s) should be located at a suitable control point where the HLO and / or Radio Operator can easily obtain readings to transmit to the flight crews (See Sections The instrument is sensing ambient air pressure so a remote sensor is unlikely to be adversely affected by ambient conditions around the helideck environs.9.5.8. QFE is optional).8. Where the equipment is an integrated unit located in the radio room or helideck control cabin.1 Sensor Locations Locations selected for the sensors should take full account of the operating conditions likely to be experienced on the installation or vessel with respect to obtaining accurate and steady readings. care must be taken to ensure that the air conditioning / ventilation system does not pressurise the location to a value different from the ambient air pressure.1). when given to the flight crews. 11.2 Indicator Location The temperature indicator(s) should be located at a suitable control point where the HLO and / or Radio Operator can easily obtain readings to transmit to the flight crews (See Sections 11.

the instruments should be calibrated every twelve months.9.1 Sensor Location The equipment sensor should be located on the installation or vessel according to the manufacturers instructions (normally somewhere around the helideck environs with unobscured outboard views for the range finder). Thereafter. For helicopters operating to offshore installations and vessels. visibility information that has been passed to flight crews by personnel (who generally have limited meteorological training and competence) is based on observation and estimation. Therefore. The equipment should ideally be set-up and calibrated by a competent specialist familiar with the type of equipment procured.1).8. 11.9. particularly in hostile environments such as the North Sea. 11.2 Indicator Location The visibility indicator should be located at a suitable control point where the HLO and / or Radio Operator can easily obtain readings to transmit to the flight crews (See Sections 11.7.6. 247 . it is crucial for flight crews to receive accurate visibility information at the destination installation or vessel. 11.7.7 Visibility Measuring Equipment Visibility information is a key meteorological parameter in all types of aviation for good flight planning and safe flight management.3 Equipment Specification A twin altimeter kit (the preferred option) or a precision aneroid barometer should be specified.9. The Aviation Company’s Operations Manual sets the operating minima for public transport operations that comply with aviation regulations.3.9. For many years.11. the final approach to the helideck is flown under visual rules. Initial calibration should be done at the manufacturer’s facility and a check calibration carried out following installation at site.

1 Sensor Location The equipment sensor should be located on the installation or vessel according to the manufacturers instructions (normally somewhere around the helideck environs with an unobscured overhead view for the range finder). is mounted under the centre of the helideck and a remote PC-based processing and display package. floating offshore installations and vessels with helidecks should be provided with equipment for ascertaining the vessel roll. 11. This information is in addition to the observations of cloud formations and types that are a fundamental part of meteorological forecasting in an offshore environment. heave.8 Cloudbase Measuring Equipment Similar to visibility measurement (See Section 11. Ideally the system that is provided should be automatic and should read and record the actual motion at the centre of the helideck surface (in real time).8. ideally.8. pitch and heave for a helicopter to land and remain safely on the helideck.9. NOTE: In the relatively near future CAP 437 will recommend the provision of ‘MOTION SEVERITY INDEX’ (MSI) in addition to vessel roll. yaw and heading.9.1).9. it is likely that it will be provided by dedicated motion sensing equipment. Although the MSI algorithms could be implemented in existing motion sensing systems on vessels.11.9 Vessel Motion Measuring Equipment CAP 437 requires all floating structures and vessels equipped with helidecks and operating on the UKCS to provide fully operational and serviceable equipment for measuring helideck motions. 11. To comply with current requirements.8. The equipment should ideally be set-up and calibrated by a competent specialist familiar with the type of equipment procured.3. 248 .9. 11. accurate cloudbase measurements are required by flight crews for the same operational reasons. forecasted (10 minutes look ahead) and log the historical data electronically (recorded at 10 minute and 1 hour intervals).2 Indicator Location The cloudbase indicator should be located at a suitable control point where the HLO and / or Radio Operator can easily obtain readings to transmit to the flight crews (See Sections 11. pitch. This will normally comprise an accelerometer package which.7).9.

g.The single number MSI produced by processing a 10 minute ‘moving window’ of helideck motion data. 11. etc. This number is reported to the helicopter flight crew who will compare it with the limit of operability for their aircraft. Alternatively. Designers are advised that either new vessels or vessels undergoing re-fit that are currently in design or under construction for operations in the UKCS should automatically be specified and equipped with helideck motion sensing equipment that is at least capable of being modified to produce the MSI.10 Automatic Meteorological Instrument Station The provision of an ‘on line’. if a helicopter operator is able to obtain ‘on line’. particularly on floating installations During operations. The limits will vary with wind speed.9.2 Equipment Specification The equipment should be capable of recording the maximum pitch. roll and heave prior to a helicopter landing (recorded at 1 hour and 10 minute intervals) and the measurement of heave should accurately reflect the motion being experienced at the helideck. dynamically positioned vessels) algorithms can be developed (to give a correction for the centre of the safe landing area) which can provide the same motion information. for an installation or 249 . 11. fully automated and integrated meteorological instrument package should be seriously considered for offshore installations. full and accurate weather data combined with vessel motions.9. where a vessel is already equipped with a motion sensor as part of the basic vessel specification (e. See also Section 10 11.9.1 Location Sensors normally located beneath the helideck at the centre of the safe landing area are used to provide motion information at a control point where it is processed to give readout on a PC.9.9. and a wind speed input to the motion sensing system may also be required in connection with determining deck handling procedures.

11 Communications and Weather Equipment Power Supplies Power supplies for the helicopter communications and weather equipment should be taken from the emergency switchboard.10. supported by an un-interruptible power source (UPS).vessel. 11. 11. this can greatly assist with more accurate flight planning and establishing payloads. the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49] provides details of the equipment.9. appropriate specifications and locations. MODU or vessel owner should also be consulted because often they may wish to specify scales of miscellaneous equipment required specifically for their operations. thus preventing the execution of a safe landing. 250 . Also. reference should be made to CAP 437 to establish the minimum requirements. The equipment provided (where appropriate) will generally include the following items: • • • • • • • • • Aircraft Chocks Tie-down Strops / Ropes Scales for Baggage and Freight Weighing Freight Loader Helicopter Start Facility First Aid Equipment Helicopter Ground Handling Equipment Landing Prohibited Marker De-Icing Equipment.1 General Where the helideck designer is required to specify miscellaneous helideck equipment. It should also reduce the opportunity for expensive ‘overfly’ flights where landings have to be aborted on arrival at the installation due to the pilot encountering excessive helideck movements that are outside the limits prescribed in his company Operations Manual. The installation operator.10 MISCELLANEOUS HELIDECK EQUIPMENT 11. where practicable.

bird strikes or 251 .11.All helideck miscellaneous equipment with electrical power sources should be specified in accordance with the installation hazardous area classification.g. An adequate supply of seawater should be provided at sufficient pressure to effectively clean the helideck surface and any surrounding equipment.10.10.11 BIRD CONTROL DEVICES 11. 11. In the case of removing guano accumulations this may require the addition of a high pressure pumping system in order to be totally effective. obscured helideck markings causing wrong deck landings.10.2 Helicopter and Helideck Washdown and Cleaning Equipment A readily available supply of fresh water should be available at the helideck in order to washdown helicopters if they are doused with foam or seawater as a result of an inadvertent fire monitor discharge. cannot be ignored. This activity is particularly important: • When aviation fuel is spilt onto the helideck surface during helicopter refuelling • When guano accumulations need to be removed. cancelled or aborted sorties. A measure of the importance attached by helicopter operators to properly managing the problems caused by bird / guano infestation (e. 11.1 Introduction Bird / guano infestation problems are routinely encountered on installations in some areas on the UKCS.1 Equipment Specification Either a fixed mains water supply (manned installations and vessels) or a portable pump and transportable tanks (for NUIs) can be provided. particularly on Normally Unattended Installations (NUIs). 11. personnel health and the additional maintenance costs incurred. in particular when the installations are normally unattended. Helideck wash down is a routine activity carried out in order to maintain the helideck in a clean and serviceable condition. The effects of bird / guano infestation on the safety of offshore helicopter operations.

) is the helideck monitoring and reporting co-ordinated by BHAB Helidecks.33. If there is likely to be a problem then provision should be made for the installation of bird exclusion devices along with efficient helideck cleaning / wash down systems.near misses. A significant part of the work to combat a bird / guano infestation problem will be handled during operations by employing a management system to monitor helideck condition and by building routine helideck cleaning into the maintenance programme. During a helideck design project.33 . etc. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Clean Small isolated bird droppings Noticeable. it should be established whether the potential for bird / guano infestations exist. 252 . The levels of operational acceptance of helideck guano infestations by BHAB Helidecks are shown in Figure 11. but not operationally significant bird droppings Markings beginning to be degraded Obvious bird usage Noticeable degradation of markings Bird usage causing operational problems Substantial degradation of markings No night operations Totally obscured . If a helideck fails to meet an acceptable level of cleanliness then landing restrictions will be applied by BHAB Helidecks. Any reporting above level 7 will incur flight restrictions. Combined systems have been more successful. thus limiting helideck availability.Daylight cleaning operations ONLY Figure 11.Levels of operational acceptance of bird guano infestations by BHAB Helidecks It should be noted that individual bird exclusion devices are reported to have only low to moderate success on most installations.

scaring and control.Issued by BOMEL Consortium June 1999. Proofing is used but this is generally limited to fitting bird spikes on the perimeter lighting. 11.11. The offshore industry has generally accepted bird scaring as the principal means of dealing with the problem. Control (culling) is not a realistic option in the offshore environment and would also be publicly unacceptable. is harmless to them. 2. 3. the search for new and innovative methods of exclusion should continue. controlled by microprocessor to randomise various characteristics of the sound. Operations Notice No: 39 . Audio bird scaring systems are the most commonly employed devices and these reproduce bird distress and predator calls through loudspeaker systems.2 Main References 1. Issued by HSE OSD December 1997. There are three classes of mitigation systems that can be used for dealing with the bird problem . Such an arrangement produces ‘a constantly changing audible hostile environment’ which. [Ref: 26].proofing.11. although disliked by the birds. A Review of Wrong Deck Landings. Current methods have only partially solved the bird / guano problem offshore therefore. 253 .11. [Ref: 32].Guidance on identification of offshore installations. However. Bird Guano Infestations and Their Effect On Offshore Helicopter Operations [Ref: 31].3 Design Considerations Installing specialised equipment onto NUIs is generally a requirement to combat the problem of sea birds on very short-lived. where they can be installed. When the equipment is fitted it also needs to be maintained. The effect of bird decoys static models of predators . Status Lamps and Signalling Devices (HSE Task No: B\0015) . water-spray systems have been found effective but require constant surveillance and system activation from a remote location to control the problem.

12 SAFETY SIGNS AND POSTERS 11. 254 . A complete lack of good signs and posters is equally as bad. including the helideck crew. 3. They are: • To clearly inform embarking passengers of the potential dangers and to give specific instructions during helideck operations • To provide safety and general instructions to all personnel. warning or advice.12.3 Specifying Safety Signs When specifying signs and posters for use in the helideck environs it is imperative that: 1. 11.12.2 Main References CAP 437.1 Introduction A proliferation of random. Essentially there are two objectives for having helideck signs and posters. NOTE: On helideck inspections safety and emergency notices are generally found to be missing. clearly and unambiguously stated The signs follow EC shape. symbol and colour conventions for prohibition. Chapter 6. inadequate or damaged. irrelevant or ill conceived safety signs and posters on and around the helideck and in heli-admin will serve little purpose. Getting the balance right should be the primary aim. The instruction or advice is briefly. where appropriate Signs are properly constructed in robust materials and fixed to robust frames and secured to suitable hard points Signs are placed clearly in the normal line of sight of embarking and disembarking passengers and other operational personnel taking into account the normal routes taken to and from the helideck from heli-admin.12. 2.11. 11. 4.

11.34 – Example of helideck safety signs securely mounted on a robust frame 255 .4 General Helideck Signs General helideck signs should include: 1. No unauthorised entry (Prohibition) Tail Rotor hazards (Warning) Anti Collision Light (Advice). These signs are best grouped together and positioned on robust frames at all the entry points to the helideck. the signs should be located in a relatively unexposed position to avoid potential mechanical or wind damage. See Figure 11.34. (Photo courtesy of John Burt Associates Limited) Figure 11.12. 3. If possible. Preferably they should be located at the foot of the stairways or landings leading to the helideck surface. 2.

11. 256 . MODU or vessel owner.5 Heli-Admin Signs and Posters Helicopter operators generally provide the signs and posters to be displayed in heli-admin directly to the Installation operator.12. Further information on this topic can be found in the UKOOA Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations [Ref: 49].


4. 13.Design Information 258 .APPENDICES 1.Design Information (Incomplete) Eurocopter EC255 – Design Information (Incomplete) Eurocopter AS332 L/L1 – Design Information Eurocopter AS332l2 – Design Information Eurocopter AS365n – Design Information Sikorsky S61N – Design Information Sikorsky S76 – Design Information Sikorsky S92 . 10. 9. 2. 6. 12. 5. 3. 8. 7. Contributors References List of Abbreviations Bell 214 ST – Design Information EH Industries EH 101 – Design Information Eurocopter EC155 . 11.


Adrian Thomas Martin Wheeler Jim Williams BMT Fluid Mechanics Limited Bristow Helicopters Limited / BHAB Helidecks Westland Helicopters Ltd.APPENDIX 1 . Steve O'Collard Kevin Payne Bill Quinn Tony Read Des Richard CBE Brian Robertson Steve Rowe Roy Singer Dr. Bob Standing Capt. Paul Gallagher Willie Hacking Erik Hamremoen John Hopson Dave Howson Davie Hunter Dr. Tony Steel Capt. of Marine Contractors (Retired) BHP Billington / OGP Technip Coflexip / IMCA BMT Fluid Mechanics Limited Wood Group BMT Fluid Mechanics Limited Civil Aviation Authority Shell Aircraft Limited / UKOOA Bristow Helicopters Limited / BHAB Helidecks BP Sikorsky Aircraft Corp 260 . Brian Teeder Capt. Wim Morris Graham Morrison Capt. BOMEL Limited PGS Geophysical / IAGC BOMEL Limited John Burt Associates Limited Shell Aircraft BHAB Helidecks Stena Drilling / IADC & BROA CHC Scotia Helicopters / BHAB Helidecks W S Atkins BHP Billington / UKOOA Statoil AS Civil Aviation Authority (Retired) Civil Aviation Authority Shell Exploration & Production / UKOOA BMT Fluid Mechanics Limited Atkins Consulting HSE BHAB Helidecks BOMEL Limited HSE CHC Scotia Helicopters / BHAB Civil Aviation Authority HSE Int’l Assoc.CONTRIBUTORS HSE and the Author wish to express their thanks to the following for their individual contributions during the preparation of these guidelines. Dr. Rob Johnson Derek Martin Bob Miles John Monaghan Dr. Shane Amaratunga Dave Andrew John Bartovsky Ruth Bemment Duncan Bliss Ian Bonnon John Burt Dave Casson Mike Crabb Ian Evans Peter Garland Dr.


Codes of Practice and relevant official papers and reports. Throughout these guidelines references are made to Regulations. 3. Act 1974. etc. Act 1974 (Application Outside Great Britain) Order 1995 (SI 1995/263) Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2885) Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/738) Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion. 2. etc. and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/743) Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction.) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/913) The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 SCR 5. 6. MHSWR 262 . Health and Safety at Work. MAR 7. GUIDANCE PUBLICATIONS. 21.APPENDIX 2 . Where specific references are applicable to a particular topic these are given at the end of the relevant paragraph for quick reference. PFEER 8. ETC. It is strongly recommended when making reference to any of these documents that the most up to date revision is obtained and used. At the time these guidelines were published the following list of publications were current. DCR 9. Health and Safety at Work etc. HASAWA Statutory Instruments 4. The Civil Aviation Act 1982 Merchant Shipping Act 1995 ch. LEGISLATION Acts 1.REFERENCES LEGISLATION.

12. Prevention of fire and explosion. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres – Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L30 14. 11. L23 L85 19. etc. A guide to the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992. Workplace Environment and Miscellaneous Aspects of the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction.10. Manual Handling. etc. IND(G) 219L. A guide to the installation verification and miscellaneous aspects of amendments by the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction. and emergency response on offshore installations.GUIDANCE AND ACOP’s 13. A Guide to the Integrity.) Regulations 1996 to the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992. Approved code of practice and guidance. L83 15. L70 16. A guide to the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995. L138 HSE PUBLICATIONS .) Regulations 1996.LEAFLETS 20. (SI 1992/2051) Noise at Work Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/1790) Air Navigation Order 2000 ANO Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations DSEAR 2002 (SI 2002/2776) HSE PUBLICATIONS . How offshore helicopter travel is regulated. L65 17. 4/96 263 . 18. Guidance on regulations.

No: 47 Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations No. No: 14 No: 27 26. Offshore Helidecks . Reissued January 2002. Issued September 1999. Offshore Helideck Design and Operability. Revised and reissued January 2002. Reissued January 2002. 30. 58 2002 – A short guide for the offshore industry. Guidance on identification of offshore installations. No: 39 27. 63 Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996. No: 1/94 22. 28. Issued December 2003. 29. Issued January 2003.Advice to Industry. No: 5/96 23. Status of technical guidance on design. 59 Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 – A short guide for the offshore industry. Issued December 1999.HSE PUBLICATIONS . Marking of Offshore Installations. 25. Reissued January 2002. No: 4/99 HSE PUBLICATIONS . Mobile installations and vessels: movement of helidecks.SAFETY NOTICES 21. construction and certification. HSE PUBLICATIONS – RESEARCH REPORTS 31. Issued January 2003.potential hazards. Revised and reissued January 2002. Bird Guano Infestations and their Effect on Offshore Helicopter Operations OTO 00:131 264 . The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in No. A Guide to the Equipment and Protective Systems intended for No.OPERATIONS NOTICES 24. Falling ice from installation structures .

44. 38. Friction Characteristics of Helidecks on Offshore Fixed-Manned Installations Motion Limits and Procedures for Landing Helicopters on Moving Helidecks A questionnaire survey of workload and safety hazards associated with North Sea and Irish Sea helicopter operations. CAA Paper No: 99004 CAA Paper No: 98002 CAA Paper No: 94004 CAA Paper No: 97009 42. August 2000. 43. 3rd Edition October 1998. CAA Paper No: 92006 265 . June 1997. 40. 39. 36. Research on Offshore Helideck Environmental Issues.32. A Review of Wrong Deck Landings Status Lights and Signalling Lamps A Study into Onshore and Offshore Based Rescue and Recovery (OBRR) Helicopters HSE / CAA Inspection Project Offshore Helidecks 1991-1995 Helicopter Offshore Safety Helideck Structural Requirements OTO 00:067 33. 45. Air Navigation – The Order and The Regulations Aircraft Refuelling: Fire Prevention and Safety Measures. OTO 98:088 OTO 00:089 OTO 01:072 CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY PUBLICATIONS 37. 35. OTO 01:039 34. Recommended Minimum Standards and Best Practice. Offshore Platform Identification Signs CAP 393 CAP 74 CAP 434 CAP 437 41. Aviation Fuel at Aerodromes Offshore Helicopter Landing Areas: A Guide to Criteria.

52. 54. Doc. Annex 14 Volume II and Heliport Manual Heliport Design Manual Performance Level 'B' Standard .46. 58. Helideck Lighting Interim Guidance 48. 1996 Issue 1.Firefighting Foam Specification. Specification for an Offshore Helideck Status Light System CAA Paper No: 98003 CAA Letter 17/11/2003 CAA Letter 31/12/2003 47. Guidelines for the Management of Offshore Helideck Operations Guidance for Offshore Personnel Handling or Using Tote Chemical / Fuel Transportation Tanks Guidelines for Management of Safety-Critical Elements Guidelines for Fire and Explosion Hazard Management Issue 4. Status Light Interim Guidance INDUSTRY AND OTHER RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) 49. 2003. 50. Structural Design Code Weldable Structural Steel for Fixed Offshore Structures Structural Design – Wind Loads BS 5950 BS 7191 BS 6399 Part 1 266 . 57. 55. 1996 51. 1995 International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 53. Issue 1. 9261 British Standards 56. Issue 1.

65. February 2003 Helicopter Limitation List – BHAB Helidecks 67. Regulations for Mobile Drilling Platforms. Norwegian Standards 64.59. Smith.Research Paper into Helideck Lighting (Maycroft. London. American Petroleum Institute – Recommended Practice for API RP 2L Planning.0 (ERTOFAC) Best Practice Guidelines Jan 2002 61. DNV – Design of Offshore Structures Norwegian Maritime Directorate: Wind Tunnel Test Procedure.0 Combustion (ERTOFAC) Best Practice Guidelines Jan 2000 Special Interest Group on Quality and Trust in Industrial CFD v1. Designing and Constructing Heliports for Fixed Platforms.Helideck Design Considerations 43251/00 Environmental Effects. Classification of Hazardous Areas. . Design Guidance for Offshore Structures: Topsides Structures 19901-3 American Standards 63. 68. DERA . Turbulence and v1. European Research Community on Flow. Flight Management and Control Department) Helicopter Operations to Moving Helidecks: RAeS Conference Proceedings. 1999 Miscellaneous Papers 66. 69. 267 . International Standards (ISO) 62. Annette. March 2001 (P Gallagher) BMT Fluid Mechanics Ltd. BS5345 Part 2 European Standards 60.

Mobile Offshore Drilling Units Code Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Lloyds Register of Shipping 72.International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 70. Construction and Classification of Floating Production Systems 268 . Rules for the Design. 71.

Act 1974 Helicopter Liaison Group (OIAC) Helideck Limitation List (previously known as IVLL) Helicopter Landing Officer Helicopter Operational Monitoring Programme Helicopter Offshore Route Guide Health and Safety Executive Health. Escape and Rescue Analysis Electroluminescent Lighting Panels Floating Production System Floating Production.APPENDIX 3 . Storage and Offtake Floating Production Unit Health and Safety at Work etc.LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AAIB ABCB ACOP AEO AFFF ALARP AMSL ANO AOC API ATSSD BHAB BHAB Helidecks BROA BS CAA CAP CAPEX CCR COSHH ‘D’ DCR DERA DIFFS DNV DSV EERA ELP FPS FPSO FPU HASAWA HLG HLL HLO HOMP HORG HSE HUMS Air Accident Investigation Branch Association of British Certification Bodies Approved Code of Practice All Engines Operative Aqueous Film Forming Foam As Low As Reasonably Practicable Above Mean Sea Level Air Navigation Order Air Operator’s Certificate American Petroleum Institute Air Traffic Safety Standards Department British Helicopter Advisory Board British Helicopter Advisory Board (Helideck Sub-committee) British Rig Owners Association British Standards Civil Aviation Authority Civil Aviation Publication Capital Expenditure Central Control Room Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations Overall length of Helicopter (See also CAP 437 definition) Design and Construction Regulations Defence Evaluation Research Agency (now QinetiQ) Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System Det Norsk Veritas – Norwegian Classification Society Diving Support Vessel Evacuation. Usuage Monitoring System 269 .

IADC IAGC IAS IATA ICAO ICP IMCA IMO IP ISO IVLL LDP LFL LOS MAR MAUW MCA MODU MSF MSI MTOW NDB NM NMD NUI OAT OBRR OCA OEI OGP OHIR OIAC OIM ON OPEX OPITO OSD PFEER PIR International Association of Drilling Contractors International Association of Geophysical Contractors Indicated Airspeed International Air Transport Association International Civil Aviation Organisation Independent Competent Person International Marine Contractors Association International Maritime Organisation Ingress Protection International Standards Organisation Installations and Vessels Limitation List (superseded by HLL) Landing Decision Point Lower Flammable Limit Limited Obstacle Sector Management and Administration Regulations Maximum All Up Weight Maritime & Coastguard Agency Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Manufacturing. Service and Finance Union Motion Severity Index Maximum Take Off Weight Non Directional Beacon Nautical Mile Norwegian Maritime Directorate Normally Unattended Installation Outside Air Temperature Offshore based Rescue and Recovery Offshore Contractors Association One Engine Inoperative International Association of Oil & Gas Producers Offshore Helideck Inspection Report Offshore Industry Advisory Committee Offshore Installation Manager Operations Notice (HSE) Operating Expense Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (Now COGENT) Offshore Safety Division of the HSE Hazardous Industries Directorate Prevention of Fire and Explosion and Emergency Response Regulations Emergency Response Regulations Passive Infra-Red 270 .

Temperature) 271 . and airfield or helideck) Indication of altitude above mean sea level Response Amplitude Operator Rescue and Firefighting Rescue and Fire Fighting Facilities root mean square Receive / Transmit Safety Critical Element Safety Case Regulations Safe Landing Area Safety Notice (HSE) Safety Regulation Group (of CAA) Semi Submersible Crane Vessel Take-Off Decision Point Transport & General Workers Union United Kingdom Continental Shelf United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association Un-interruptable Power Source Very High Frequency Aircraft Performance Curve (Weight.PO POB PPE QFE QNH RAO RFF RFFF rms. R/T SCE SCR SLA SN SRG SSCV TDP TGWU UKCS UKOOA UPS VHF WAT Point of Origin Persons on Board Personal Protection Equipment Indication of height above a set datum (e.g. Altitude.


62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.27 m @ Height 948 mm = 3.75 m = 2.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.95 metres 7936 kg (t = 8.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.98 m @ Height 948 to 2938 mm 1552 ltrs per min Fuel Type Max.73 m = 11. 12m x 12m Sliding Main Cabin Door Both Sides Gravity only Single point to rear of Starboard Cabin Door Jet A-1 2840 lbs (2271 ltrs) Tricycle 18.32m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 290 cm² Loading: 78 % 273 . Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): 123 cm² Loading: 22 % 4.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0. All Up Weight 0.0) = 15.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations H1 / H2 Medium.APPENDIX 4 – BELL 214ST .8m 3.


15m x 15m Starboard Sliding Main Cabin Door and Port Forward crew Door Gravity and Pressure 4 Gravity Fill Points on Starboard Side Pressure Fill Point on Port Side Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations Fuel Type Max.42m 3.3 m Mainwheels (at max aft C of G): Static Load per u/c Gear: 57045 N Static Contact Area per Tyre: 337.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.DESIGN INFORMATION (Aircraft data supplied courtesy of Westland Helicopters Limited .3 cm² 7. All Up Weight 0.0m 275 Note: Values are given for the twin main wheel option at touchdown vertical velocity limit of 2.0 cm² Dynamic Load on u/c Gear: 73041 N Dynamic Contact Area per tyre: 241.2 cm² 0.79 m @ Height 1140 to 3534 mm 2246 ltrs per min H1 / H2 Large.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.8 metres 14600 kg (t = 15) = 18. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage Jet A-1 3360 kg (with 4 tanks) Tricycle UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels (at max fwd C of G): Static Load on u/c Gear: 44944 N Static Contact Area per Tyre: 178.APPENDIX 5 – EH INDUSTRIES EH101 .0 m/s .9 cm² Dynamic Load per u/c Gear: 73943 N Dynamic Contact Area per tyre: 410.14 m = 2.93 m = 14. .34m 4.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access 22.See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) GENERAL DESIGN DATA Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.some variants may be equipped with single main wheels.74 m @ Height 1140 mm = 4.

GENERAL ARRANGEMENT (Courtesy of Westland Helicopters Limited) 276 .

30 m 4800 kg (t = 4.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0. Jet A-1 1257 ltrs (332 US galls) Tricycle 883 ltrs per min = = = = = = 14.8) 11. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage H1 / H2 Small.91 m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): ? cm² Loading: ? % 277 1.00 m @ Height 715 to 2216 mm UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): ? cm² Loading: ? % 3.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.87 m 8.APPENDIX 6 – EUROCOPTER EC155 .87 m 1. 6m x 6m Sliding doors on both sides Gravity Filling point on port side.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.90 m .21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate = (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations Fuel Type Max.72 m @ Height 715 mm 3. All Up Weight 0.


50 m 10400 kg (t = 10.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations H1 / H2 Medium. 12m x 12m Sliding doors on both sides Pressure and Gravity Gravity filling point at each side. Jet A-1 2020 ltrs (535 US galls) Tricycle = = = = = = 19.34 m @ Height 975 mm 4.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.00 m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): ? cm² Loading: ? % 279 . Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): ? cm² Loading: ? % 5.09 m @ Height 975 to 3022 mm = 1643 ltrs per min Fuel Type Max.APPENDIX 7 – EC225 .83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.4) 16. Pressure connection on starboard side. All Up Weight 0.09 m 2.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.18 m 12.25 m 3.


93 m @ Height 935 to 2898 mm 1511 ltrs per min H1 / H2 Medium.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.APPENDIX 8 – EUROCOPTER AS332L1 .12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage Jet A-1 4180 lbs (2406 ltrs) Tricycle UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): 290 cm² Loading: 35. All Up Weight 0.0m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 452 cm² Loading: 64.24 m @ Height 935 mm = 3.7 metres 8599 kg (t = 8.26m 3.6) = 15.52 m = 11.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.5 % 5.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations 18.5 % 281 .62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0. 12m x 12m Sliding Main Cabin Door Both Sides Pressure and Gravity 2 Gravity Fill Points on Starboard Side Pressure Fill Point on Starboard Side Fuel Type Max.59 m = 2.


28m 3.5 metres 9300 kg (t = 9.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.09 m = 2.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations H1 / H2 Medium.09 m @ Height 975 to 3022 mm 1643 ltrs per min UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): 290 cm² Loading: % 5. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage Jet A-1 4180 lbs (2406 ltrs) Tricycle 19.19 m = 12.3) = 16.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.APPENDIX 9 – EUROCOPTER AS332L2 . All Up Weight 0.34 m @ Height 975 mm = 4. 12m x 12m Sliding Main Cabin Door Both Sides Pressure and Gravity 2 Gravity Fill Points on Starboard Side Pressure Fill Point on Starboard Side Fuel Type Max.0m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 452 cm² Loading: % 283 .83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.


64m 1.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage 13.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0. All Up Weight 0.09 m @ Height 975 to 3022 mm 808 ltrs per min H1 / H2 Small. 6m x 6m Cabin Door Both Sides Gravity only Port side to rear of Cabin Doors Jet A-1 3184 lbs Tricycle UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheels: Contact Area (each): 123 cm² Loading: 22 % 3.34 m @ Height 975 mm = 4.90m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 213 cm² Loading: 78 % 285 .3) = 16.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations Fuel Type Max.09 m = 2.APPENDIX 10 – EUROCOPTER AS365N2 .DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.19 m = 12.68 metres 4250 kg (t = 4.


21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations Fuel Type Max. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage H1 / H2 Large.66 m @ Height 1100 mm = 4.3) = 18.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.APPENDIX 11 – SIKORSKY S61N .43 m = 13.15m 287 . All Up Weight 0.66 m @ Height 1100 to 3431 mm 2129 ltrs per min UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 374 cm² Loading: 85 % 4.27m Tailwheel: Contact Area: 277 cm² Loading: 15 % 7.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.76 m = 2. 15m x 15m Starboard Side Front and Rear Doors Pressure and Gravity Starboard side adjacent to Sponson Jet A-1 4350 lbs (2475 ltrs) Tailwheel 22.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.2 metres 9298 kg (t = 9.


92 m @ Height 800 mm = 3. All Up Weight 0.44m 5.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations Fuel Type Max. 12m x 12m Central Cabin Door on Both Sides Gravity only Both sides to rear of Cabin Doors Jet A-1 1850 lbs (839 kg) Tricycle 16 metres 5307 kg (t = 5. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage H1 / H2 Medium.28 m = 9.DESIGN INFORMATION GENERAL DESIGN DATA (See Reference 49 for Additional Operational Data) Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.36 m @ Height 800 to 2480 mm 1106 ltrs per min UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT (Not to Scale) Nosewheel: Contact Area: 115 cm² Loading: 25 % 2.0m Mainwheels: Contact Area (each): 107 cm² Loading: 75 % 289 .92 m = 1.APPENDIX 12 – SIKORSKY S76 .3) = 13.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.


0 cm² Dynamic Load per u/c Gear: 5788 kg Dynamic Contact Area per tyre: 316. All other dimensions remain the same) GENERAL DESIGN DATA Overall Length (= ‘D’) Max. Jet A-1 2877 ltrs (760 US galls) Tricycle Fuel Type Max. All Up Weight (current certified) Max.3 cm² Mainwheels (at max aft C of G): Static Load per u/c Gear: 4453 kg 6. Fuel Load (Standard Tanks) Undercarriage UNDERCARRIAGE FOOTPRINT .95 m 2.Please note that helidecks designed to facilitate S92 operations should use the higher MAUW to accommodate planned future growth.DESIGN INFORMATION (Aircraft data supplied courtesy of Sikorsky Helicopters .83D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.33 m 12.8) 17.51 m @ Height 1044 mm 4.20 m Static Contact Area per Tyre: 258. All Up Weight (planned growth) 0.21D Outer Obstacle Limitation Minimum Foam Application Rate (where ‘D’ equals SLA) RFF Category Landing Net Size Passenger Access Refuelling Method Refuelling Point Locations = = = = = = = = 20. Pressure connection on port sponson. 15m x 15m Starboard Side at Front Pressure and Gravity Gravity filling point at each sponson.12D Inner Obstacle Limitation 0.9) 12837 kg (t = 12.18 m 291 .39 m @ Height 1044 to 3236 mm 1883 ltrs per min H1 / H2 Large.APPENDIX 13 – SIKORSKY S92 .0 cm² Dynamic Load per u/c Gear: 5970kg Dynamic Contact Area per tyre: 323.7 cm² 3.62D Obstacle Limit Dimension 0.88 m 11859 kg (t = 11.LOADS FOR PLANNED AIRCRAFT GROWTH (Not to Scale) Nosewheels (at max fwd C of G): Static Load per u/c Gear: 4592 kg Static Contact Area per Tyre: 265.

GENERAL ARRANGEMENT (Courtesy of Sikorsky Aircraft) 292 .

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