An innovative new lighting system for use on off-shore helidecks has undergone a successful flight inspection by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The new system, developed under a CAA research project and manufactured by Orga BV in the Netherlands, is designed to radically improve visibility for approaching pilots.
The first production version of the new ‘circle and H’ helideck lighting system has been installed on the Centrica CPC-1 helideck in Morecambe Bay, and was evaluated by the CAA in a special flight on 27 November. The CAA said the lighting performed exceptionally well and addressed all of the weaknesses of existing floodlighting systems. The feedback received from the Bond off-shore helicopters pilots operating to the platform has also been very positive.
The specification for the new scheme was incorporated in CAA’s CAP 437 (Standards for Offshore Helicopter Landing Areas) earlier in 2012 and a second manufacturer is known to be developing a compliant system. The CAA now intends to liaise with the oil and gas industry to work on retrofit of the new lighting to proceed as recommended by the UK AAIB in its report on the accident to G-REDU at the ETAP platform in February 2009. Oil and Gas UK have committed to retrofitting the new lighting across all offshore installations in UK waters.
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