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Audit of the Brage helicopter deck

On 15-16 April 2004, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA), in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), conducted an audit activity aimed at Norsk Hydro's (NH's) Brage installation (photo). The audit targeted the helicopter deck and emergency preparedness linked to the Brage helicopter deck.

Background for the audit

With expert assistance from the Civil Aviation Authority, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway plans to conduct a number of audit activities this year with primary focus on helicopter decks.

The audit activity was conducted on the basis of Sections 11, 20, 21 and 22 of the Management Regulations, Section 71 of the Facilities Regulations on helicopter decks, cf. Regulations relating to flights on the continental shelf - commercial aviation to and from helicopter decks on permanent and mobile offshore installations, BSL D 5-1, and Section 68 of the Activities Regulations relating to handling of hazard and accident situations.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of the audit was to verify that NH's management systems properly safeguard HSE and emergency preparedness associated with the helicopter deck, as well as to prevent aviation accidents that can be attributed to factors related to the helicopter deck or its operation.

The audit attempted to verify that the helicopter deck on Brage satisfies the regulatory requirements as regards loads in relation to the aircraft used, placement, design, size, obstacles, general requirements, visual aids, operative equipment, fire and rescue preparedness, maintenance and operations, and operations and emergency preparedness manual.

During the review of the management systems, emphasis was placed on the organization, expertise, maintenance, system for handling non-conformances and improvements based on the operation of the helicopter deck and the emergency preparedness measures associated with the helicopter deck.

With regard to emergency preparedness on the installation, focus was also aimed at 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 reveal any circumstances on Brage that would lead to a notification of order, although the CAA points out several non-conformances in its report.

The PSA also observed certain circumstances that are defined as items where there is a potential for improvement.

The main impression from the audit is that there is room for improvement in several technical and operative factors associated with the helicopter deck.

The non-conformances are discussed in a separate report from the CAA.

The PSA has commented on the following factors in its report:


  • Emergency number 112 has not been implemented.
  • MOB preparedness and response time for two systems.
  • HLO course - lacking practical training for helicopter, cf. Item 3.16 in the CAA report.

The following non-conformances and comments are addressed in more detail in the CAA report:

  • Obstacles outside of departure and approach sectors - cf. CAA report Item 3.1.
  • Marking of the helicopter deck's outer limits - cf. CAA report Item 3.2.
  • Anchor fastenings - cf. CAA report Item 3.3.
  • Marking - cf. CAA report Item 3.4. · Marking of obstacle-free sector - cf. CAA report Item 3.5.
  • Marking of helicopter deck size - cf. CAA report Item 3.6.
  • Marking of main access - cf. CAA report Item 3.7.
  • Lighting - cf. CAA report Items 3.8 and 3.9.
  • General equipment - cf. CAA report Item 3.10.

The PSA's follow-up

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss