Offshore helicopters in the North Sea will now be tracked at every stage of their journey to improve safety, reducing the risk of offshore helicopter crashes and enhance the chances of survival after a crash.
Oil and Gas UK and the National Air Traffic Services, say the tracking system is part of a new surveillance system that will track offshore helicopters transporting oil rig crews between shores and platforms, from the moment they lift off to the time they reach their destination. The tracking system uses receivers and transmitters fitted to offshore platforms that allow air traffic controllers to monitor the helicopters at a much greater range than they currently do.
Currently, air traffic controllers have to rely on shore-based systems that can only monitor helicopters up to 80 miles from land. With the new tracking system, flights can be tracked and monitored from the runway to the platform in real-time.