EXCLUSIVE: Aberdeen Airport to Operate Through The Night to Clear Helicopter Backlog
Published in Oil Industry News on Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Aberdeen Airport - the worlds largest Heliport, will continue operating until 1am tomorrow morning after an Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) from Sikorsky helicopters triggered the temporary grounding of almost the entire North Sea helicopter fleet today.
The ASB required aircraft operators to conduct an 11 hour inspection of the Tail Rotor Pitch Change Shaft which includes an off aircraft check of a component called a PCS bearing.
No S92 was permitted to fly until the check had been completed, a move that caused chaos throughout North Sea helicopter operations and resulted in the the Maritime Coastguard Agency being unable to conduct helicopter operations at 9 of its 10 UK bases - although most have now returned to service.
A spokesperson for Aberdeen Airport has confirmed that the facility will remain open until 1am on Wednesday morning in an attempt to allow helicopter operators to clear their backlog of flights. So far only Bristows have confirmed their intent to continue operating until the extended deadline.
Aberdeen airport normally operates under a Noise Abatement Policy that requires all commercial flights to have landed by 10:30pm, however due to the exceptional circumstances an extension to this deadline has been granted and the airport will continue to ferry offshore workers to and from their platforms until the new 1am deadline.
The move will come as a relief to offshore workers as gale force winds and poor sea states seem likely to hinder flights throughout the remainder of the week.
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