The past few months have been really something else for little fledgling Green Deck Ops, heres a quick synopsis:
Qualified Entity Status - Helideck Inspections
Probably the greatest news for me personally was being accepted as Qualified Entity Status for Helideck Inspections in Malaysia.
Having been up close and personal to the UK debate, politics and issues surrounding the UK helideck inspection regime / system, it was a joy to be awarded this privilege by the Malaysian Directorate of Civil Aviation and Petronas BHD. I have seen the Malaysian system flourish and always believed (and briefed) that the system they have in place was the example the UK CAA should at least look at as a base model for the UK system post the CAP1145 actions. Malaysia is above the UK with regards to offshore assets, with no sign of decommissioning in the region.
Malaysia is a hard nut to crack.....however we did what others could not do. Our operations manual, quality system, experience, competence and above all our ability to go that extra mile for the client to ensure flight safety is not compromised in anyway shone through and I am personally very proud to be associated with the Malaysian DCA and Petronas.
Helideck Inspection, Safety Case and Inspections
All good on this front, gradually developing a client base both in North America, Asia, Middle East and Europe (Mediterranean). This is my passion and I love it, bringing a new dimension to the standard helideck inspection process. Our new approach to helideck and aviation facilities auditing and certification takes into consideration all aspects of aviation from the beach to the installation. Engaging and generally great fun (for me that is), our customer feedback is very much based on a "working together" concept and not the "take your money and run" concept, ie the pre-work, inspection and follow up is about being totally focused on the clients needs, working together to ensure flight safety and operationally capable is paramount.
Helideck, HLS Training and Competency Building
We have been carrying on with our program of education regarding helideck safety, providing bespoke training aimed a predominantly air and deck crews so they better understand the environment they operate in / to. This element has been hugely successful with training delivered for operations in the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Congo, UAE and Brazil. We worked with other stakeholders through OPITO to develop a new Helideck Operations Initial Training Standard. Again this has been great fun, bringing together several organisations from operations, drilling, training providers and regulators to ensure (and assure) a more robust training system for our people offshore. When I compare the new standard to other nations, we do still lead the world! The next big challenge is helicopter refuelling in the offshore environment a standardised approach to this flight safety critical task.
On from offshore we have been working with various hospital trusts and overseas organisations who own and operate onshore helicopter landing sites to improve overall flight safety awareness.
Green Deck Operations are now OPITO accredited to carry out Competency Assessments. After a series of evidence based submissions, it was another great moment to be awarded this accreditation.
We have been accredited CAA ROCC Examiners for some 3 years now and have delivered training both
in the UK and overseas to support oil and gas as well as superyacht operators who want to have that additional assurance for their helideck crews. We are now also working directly with the CAA ATS Section to develop the syllabus further to ensure the training actually reflects what goes on offshore in the “real environment”.
An area that is really (excuse the pun), taking off for the company, we have been conducting several HLS surveys and studies in support of UK and UAE HEMS / SAR operations. Working with some of the most professional peope and organisations, we have joined forces with a CAA accredited UAS operation 3AXIS UAS to bring a new dimension to the survey process, it’s been a challange but very rewarding. UK Hospitals surveyed so far include Maidstone, Sheffield Children’s, Torbay and QA Portsmouth.
Trials and tribulations
We headed out to India as the Civil Aviation Authority delegated representative to oversee, report and certify a new helideck firefighting system. The basis of the work was inline with both CAP437 Ed8 and ICAO standards, that said we took the CAP437 requirement and enhanced to ensure the tests were above and beyond the standard. As an example, the CAP requires a system should operate effectively with at least one DIFFS nozzle inoperative, however in a real crash scenario, there maybe potentially more than one nozzle inoperative. Our final test made 5 nozzles inoperative, the results were outstanding and may set a new bar regarding helideck fire suppression system test standards.
For our work, we received the India Institute of Fire Engineers award for innovation...very proud!
Additionally we are developing an Apple based app so that during audits we have the ability to check foam stocks, application rates and manning levels based on H categories
Lots more happening, and lots more to achieve, what does GDO want, we want to be recognised as a professionally credible offshore aviation company, promoting, engaging and developing people and process.
Even though we are UK based, the UK to me is the biggest challenge. We have a great reputation, professionally credible and above all integrity, however what we are not is UK politically savvy!
And finally...Family, none of this would have happened unless I had the backing of my awesome wife, daughters, their husbands and our grandchildren.