Denmark's Bel Air, which has entered a "Call off" contract with Maersk Oil, says it has fully complied with the new European performance requirements for offshore helicopters that come into force in 2010.
"The Call off contract means that, at short notice, Bel Air can be asked to carry out flights to Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) platforms in the North Sea," says Capt Susanne H Lastein, md. "Our new AW139 has already carried out the first flights for Maersk Oil successfully, transporting cargo to Dan Fox, replacing employees on the platforms and carrying out shuttle operations." DUC is a joint venture of AP Moller-Maersk with 39%, Shell with 46% and Chevron with 15%.
Lastein adds: "Huge resources have to be spent to make sure that Bel Air is in front when it comes to new requirements guaranteeing that offshore helicopters at takeoff from a helicopter deck are always able to fly with only one engine, avoiding forced landing on the water should one engine fail. By reducing payload, most offshore helicopters comply with performance requirements when taking off from a platform. However the AW139, with 1,872 hp each engine, is able to take off at maximum weight - 4,800 kgs - and to keep flying even with only one engine operative."
For the Maersk contract the AW139 can be transformed to accommodate four euro pallets and a combination of passengers and cargo is also possible. "It lends itself to a one to 15 seat configuration or an eight passenger vip configuration providing great legroom," Lastein adds.
Bel Air has also contracted with Dong Energy Power. The company's employees operating in the Horns Rev Wind Farm are transported to and from work in the AW139.