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Audit of helicopter deck and emergency preparedness on Heidrun

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority, conducted an audit activity aimed at Statoil's Heidrun installation (photo) during the period 10-11 November 2004. The audit targeted the helicopter deck and emergency preparedness associated with the helicopter deck on the installation.


Background for the audit

The background for the audit is that the PSA, with expert assistance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has planned to implement a number of audit activities this year with primary focus on helicopter decks. The Heidrun audit also included emergency preparedness measures associated with the helicopter deck.

The audit activity was conducted based on the Management Regulations; Section 11 on Manning and Competence, Section 20 on Handling of Non-conformities, Section 21 on Follow-up and Section 22 on Improvement, as well as the Facilities Regulations, Section 71 on Helicopter Decks, cf. Regulations relating to continental shelf aviation - commercial air transport to and from fixed and mobile offshore units, BSL D 5-1, and the Activities Regulations, Section 68 on Handling of situations of hazard and accident.

Purpose of the audit

The purpose of the audit was to verify that Statoil's management system safeguards HSE and emergency preparedness associated with helicopter decks in a prudent manner, as well as to prevent aviation accidents that can be attributed to the properties or operation of the helicopter deck.
The audit attempted to verify that the Heidrun helicopter deck meets the regulatory requirements as regards loads in relation to the aircraft employed, placement, design, size, obstacles, general requirements, visual aids, operative equipment, fire and rescue preparedness, maintenance and operation, and operations and emergency response manuals.
During the review of the management systems, particular attention was given to organization, competence, maintenance, handling of non-conformities and improvement, based on the operation of the helicopter deck and the emergency preparedness measures associated with the helicopter deck.

With regard to the emergency preparedness on the installation, attention was also given to evacuation equipment, evacuation routes, marking of said routes, as well as the emergency response organization and the tasks associated with handling incidents on and near the helicopter deck.

Result of the audit

The audit did not identify any circumstances on Heidrun that will lead to a notification of order. The CAA did identify some non-conformities in its report. The PSA did not make any findings that were violations of the regulations, nor circumstances where there is the potential for improvement. The duration of the audit was extremely brief, but the main impression of the areas examined during the audit is very good.

Our reception on the installation was very positive. Everyone was greeted by the platform manager and given information regarding the status of the installation. Similarly, the introduction that preceded the safety inspection round, and the inspection round itself, were of high quality.

The plan called for implementation of an emergency response drill with a scenario associated with the helicopter deck. However, the weather conditions were so difficult that the SAR helicopter was moved in to Kristiansund. In other words, the forecast called for winds of more than 55 knots. Conducting a drill on the helicopter deck during such weather conditions was inadvisable.

The program for the drill was reviewed, and it was established that a sufficient number of drills and training exercises are conducted. The system was easily verifiable. In addition to planned drills, table-top exercises were also conducted prior to special operations.
The following circumstances are described in more detail in the CAA's report:

  • Non-conformity - obstacle-free take-off and approach sector, ref. CAA report, Section 3.1.

  • Non-conformity - obstacles in take-off and approach sector, ref. CAA report, Section 3.2.

  • Non-conformity - marking of the outer perimeter of the helicopter deck, ref. CAA report, Section 3.3.

  • Non-conformity - marking for guidance during set-down - reference circle, ref. CAA report, Section 3.4.

  • Non-conformity - lighting, ref. CAA report, Section 3.5.

  • Observation - marking of fixed obstacles, ref. CAA report, Section 3.6.

  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.7.

  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.8.

  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.9.


    Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority:
    Mike Theiss





  • Non-conformity - obstacle-free take-off and approach sector, ref. CAA report, Section 3.1.
  • Non-conformity - obstacles in take-off and approach sector, ref. CAA report, Section 3.2.
  • Non-conformity - marking of the outer perimeter of the helicopter deck, ref. CAA report, Section 3.3.
  • Non-conformity - marking for guidance during set-down - reference circle, ref. CAA report, Section 3.4.
  • Non-conformity - lighting, ref. CAA report, Section 3.5.
  • Observation - marking of fixed obstacles, ref. CAA report, Section 3.6.
  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.7.
  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.8.
  • Observation - operations, ref. CAA report, Section 3.9.


    Contact person in the Petroleum Safety Authority:
    Mike Theiss