17-Feb-2015 Source: Bristow Group
On Monday 16th February, Bristow Helicopters ferried two Sikorsky S92 helicopters from their base at Aberdeen to Prestwick Airport southwest of Glasgow for shipment to the Falkland Islands. The pair will join a third S92 already on the islands in the South Atlantic in support of oil/gas exploration work in the region – and the contract requires one full-time rig-support helicopter, another which has a dual SAR role and the third as a spare.
The two on yesterday’s ferry flight were G-CIHP and G-IACG, and they will join G-CIGZ which is already on site at Stanley Airport
In a September announcement of various contract awards, Bristow described this operation as “A one-year contract for three large helicopters starting in February 2015 with a two-year option to support drilling operations. One aircraft will be used for crew change work, the second one will be dedicated to SAR operations while the third helicopter will have dual use”. The SAR element of this work is reportedly due to the imminent retirement of the Sea King helicopters which the Royal Air Force have based on the islands since the early 1980s.
In the light of the oil price crash – in the last couple of days it has rallied to around $61 a barrel compared with the four year average of $110 – one wonders whether the contract will indeed be curtailed after the initial year purely by market forces in the oil industry.
John Burcote – HeliHub.com