• safety of those who rely on offshore helicopter flights is our absolute priority
  • significant safety improvements made but more to do

Substantial progress has been made on measures to improve offshore helicopter safety but there is still more to do, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said today as it published a progress report on the recommendations and actions from its comprehensive review of offshore helicopter operations from February 2014.

Safety improvements introduced since the CAA review was launched have included:

  • Stopping flights over the most extreme sea conditions.
  • Ensuring every passenger on an offshore helicopter flight is equipped with new improved Emergency Breathing System (EBS) ahead of schedule.
  • Standardisation of pilot training, particularly for the use of complex automated systems on helicopters and the associated operating procedures.
  • Establishing a new top level group to drive change, the Offshore Helicopter Safety Action Group (OHSAG) that includes unions, industry and the CAA.

The OHSAG will continue to drive change and work closely with other parties such as helicopter manufacturers and international regulators, especially the European Aviation Safety Agency, to move forward on safety recommendations.

The majority of the recommendations and actions are aimed at preventing an accident from occurring. Some of these, such as helicopter design, are longer term projects but the CAA and OHSAG will be maintaining pressure on the organisations responsible for change to ensure the safety improvements are delivered as soon as possible.

CAA Director of Safety and Airspace Mark Swan said:

“The safety of those who rely on offshore helicopter flights is our absolute priority. Some encouraging progress has been made over the last year to improve helicopter safety but there is still more that can and will be achieved. We will continue to report regularly on progress, so that people can have confidence that these important changes are being implemented as quickly as possible.”

The progress report is available on the CAA website, under Cap1243

Media Enquiries

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on 00 44 (0)207 453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk.

You can also follow the CAA on Twitter @UK_CAA.

Notes to Editors

the CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.