Media Release: New safety training courses at offshore helicopter base

Colin Leyden 2

LEADING offshore safety training provider Falck Safety Services (Falck) has joined forces with aviation provider, SaxonAir in Norwich, to offer helicopter safety training to correspond with new offshore regulations.

Falck, which is based in Aberdeen and Teesside, will provide specialist safety courses at SaxonAir’s Business Aviation Centre Headquarters at Norwich International Airport ahead of new UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) helicopter regulations, introducing Category A Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS).

The new EBS equipment was recently approved by the UK CAA as part of a series of measures to increase the safety of offshore helicopters.

The new course and equipment are now an industry requirement due to the updated guidelines which come into force on 1 September 2014, and stipulate passengers will not be allowed to sit on the inside seats of a helicopter travelling to and from offshore installations without EBS.

From 1 January next year, all passengers will be required to wear the device.

Colin Leyden, managing director for Falck, said: “The latest UKCAA safety requirements for offshore helicopter transportation are an important step forward.

“Falck has been closely involved with the process surrounding the EBS system development, with rigorous training and testing carried out ahead of launching the course.

“The training at Norwich will ensure that companies comply with the new regulations, putting the safety of offshore workers at the forefront of their operations.

“Our partnership with SaxonAir in Norwich will allow us to deliver seamless and quality training to individuals based or living in the East Anglian region.”

Falck Safety Services, which delivers realistic training in a safe and controlled environment using state-of-the-art industry standards, has recently invested more than £3.5m in its UK training facilities.

The firm, which has 32 training centres across the world, has strong industry expertise servicing the global oil and gas, shipping, renewable energy, military and aviation industries, and – last year – trained over 340,000 people.

SaxonAir’s £6.5m Business Aviation Centre is strategically located to serve the Southern North Sea energy sector and currently handles over 50,000 offshore passengers and 700 tonnes of freight movements per year.

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