Helicopter pilots in India have appealed to the local aviation authority (DGCA) with a call for them to undertake auditing of helipads, particularly those on offshore rigs. Such audits are currently rare in India. Earlier this week, DGCA chief E.K. Bharat Bhushan met members of the Rotary Wing Society of India, the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), operator Pawan Hans and Airport Authority of India officials at the Juhu aerodrome to discuss the matter.
Local reports say the primary agenda was strengthening safety norms for offshore operations with better collaboration between the exploration companies. The overriding recommendation was to replicate the British model where auditing of offshore rigs is outsourced to a collaboration of helideck certification companies, oil companies and aviation experts. Captain Uday Gelli from RWSI does not foresee a problem setting up a similar group in India.
ONGC is also expected to revive its offshore-based SAR helicopter proposal, which it had set aside a few years ago.
Helipads in India don’t often follow ICAO Annex 14, which stipulates rules for dimensions, height and other technical aspects, according to retired Army helicopter pilot Captain D.K. Chand. With a sharp and ongoing increase in rotary-wing operations in the country, this can only mean poorer safety standards.
We look forward to these proposals being implemented
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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