Oil and gas company Wintershall Dea and Bell have signed a non-binding collaboration agreement looking into the possibility of introducing a new and safer helicopter on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Today, only one helicopter type is used for offshore personnel transport to the installations off the Norwegian coast, according to Wintershall Dea’s statement on Thursday.
By looking into bringing the new Bell 525 into operations in Norway, Wintershall Dea said it would contribute to increasing the robustness of the helicopter services provided for the Norwegian oil and gas industry.
“Wintershall Dea is always looking into ways to improve the way the company operates. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to significantly improve how our employees travel to work offshore,” said Alv B. Solheim, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea in Norway.
The new Bell 525 helicopter is fitted with technology designed to improve flight safety, reduce noise and emissions, and shorten travel time to the installations. Bell 525 will be the first commercial, offshore helicopter fitted with “fly by wire” airplane technology which digitalizes many traditional controls, Wintershall Dea said.
Solheim added: “We will use the coming months to work closely with Bell to find out all the steps needed to get the Bell 525 ready for operations in Norway. This work will include technical requirements, investigating a suitable operating model together with the helicopter operators and close cooperation with unions and other stakeholders to ensure that the helicopter and surrounding requirements are fit for purpose. Only when all this is done, Wintershall Dea will consider whether the project can enter an operational phase.”
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