The North Sea Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expects the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will approve a new emergency breathing system for helicopter passengers at the end of this month. The first batch of approved equipment is expected to arrive early next month, allowing training–both in classroom sessions and online–to begin in mid-July. Passengers on offshore flights in the North Sea will need to know how to inspect the equipment and conduct a buddy check.
As required by the CAP 1145 review, released in February this year, the group is also considering how readily passengers can exit a helicopter window while wearing survival equipment, such as buoyancy aids. The CAP 1145 review was a bid to curb helicopter incidents and accidents through a number of prevention and mitigation measures. The outcome, based on 450 study participants, will be used to create a common policy about what clothing can be worn under a survival suit. The HSSG said it needs another 150 people to complete the study and wants men weighing more than 180 pounds to book a slot in the survey’s schedule. Window sizes on the various types of helicopter used for North Sea operations are also being measured.