Offshore helicopter services provider CHC Helicopter Corporation is introducing 'new technology' aircraft to its operations in the UK's North Sea. The company has won a five-year contract renewal - plus three one-year options - with Maersk Oil & Gas AS.
The contract involves the provision of three new Sikorsky S-92 helicopters in support of the company's offshore oil and gas operations in the Danish sector of the North Sea. These are being built ready for the
start of the contract. Flying out of Esbjerg, Denmark, the contract will also be supported by three dedicated Sikorsky S-92A helicopters from July 2007.
CHC recently introduced the first Bell Agusta AB139 helicopter to the UK sector of the North Sea as part of a contract awarded from Tullow Oil. The firm has also recently introduced this aircraft type to the Dutch sector of the North Sea.
CHC's European operations managing director, Keith Mullett, said: "It is imperative that we sustain a modernisation programme. We share the view that there are still many years' operational activity left in the North Sea."
He added: "That is why our fleet portfolio has to be the subject of ongoing modernisation."
CHC has also deployed new Sikorsky S-92 aircraft in both the Norwegian and UK sectors and will use the Eurocopter EC155 in the Netherlands later this year. From April 2007, CHC will introduce two new Eurocopter EC225 aircraft to the fleet to help service a five-year contract with Total E&P UK.
The company is also investing in a fleet of specially-modified AB139s and S-92s to undertake civilian search and rescue work for the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency from July 2007.
Modifications involve Honeywell Primus Epic avionics and large displays that work together with the four-axis digital autopilot with auto hover and electronic engine control (FADEC) to minimise pilot workload.
The Sikorsky S-92 is a popular helicopter among operators worldwide, and is used for offshore, sceduled airline, executive transport and search and rescue missions.