Helicopter offshore operations (HOFO) to or from offshore locations, including helidecks, ships and windfarms, pose certain specific safety risks which were not adequately addressed by Regulation (EU) No 965/2012. Some Member States (including the UK) had adopted additional requirements, including the mandatory use of new technologies, to mitigate such risks and maintain safety levels. However, in order to create a level playing field and ensure that the safety objectives of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 are achieved, common safety measures have now been established at Union level. These take into account the experience at national level as well as the developments in the sector of helicopter offshore operations.
SPA-HOFO addresses these issues and enters into force in the UK (and across Europe) on 1 July 2018.
‘Offshore operation’ means a helicopter operation that has a substantial proportion of any flight conducted over open sea areas to or from an offshore location. An offshore operation includes, but is not limited to, a helicopter flight for the purpose of:
‘Offshore location’ means a location or destination on a fixed or floating offshore structure or vessel, and includes helidecks, helicopter hoist operations areas and operating sites. ‘Offshore location’ includes, but is not limited to:
‘Helideck’ means a (final approach and take off area) FATO located on a floating or fixed offshore structure. The term ‘helideck’ includes take-off and landing operations on ships and vessels and covers shipboard FATOs.
Operators conducting any of the following types of operations:
Operators will need to be familiar with the EASA Basic Regulation and the Air Operations Regulation. They will also need to comply with the detailed implementing rules in Annex III (Part-ORO Organisation Requirements), Annex IV (Part-CAT), Annex V (PART-SPA.HOFO), Annex VI (Part-NCC) and Annex VIII (Part-SPO) as appropriate.
Operators should refer to the relevant Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) for SPA-HOFO.
Affected operators need to understand the rules and ensure they are in compliance by using and completing the compliance document prior to submitting their application.
Operators must, for example:
* Excess hour invoices will be raised by the CAA monthly in arrears and sent to the applicant for payment
The Specific Approval is issued for an unlimited duration subject to continued compliance with the necessary regulations. When any conditions of the SPA-HOFO approval are affected by changes, the operator must obtain prior approval from the CAA using the application form and before implementing those changes.
Any questions regarding approvals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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