Remote area helicopter operations in the surveillance spotlight
In early 2014, helicopter operators were targeted as part of a surveillance sweep in the North West region of Western Australia which saw the CASA team travel as far north as Broome and as far south as Exmouth.
Surveillance was undertaken on identified operators whose primary operations provided support to offshore oil and gas mining companies.
The unprecedented demand in the resource sector in Western Australia has resulted in a parallel increase in demand for air transport, particularly helicopter transport to access remote locations. The surveillance exercise included looking at specific and current risks for each organisation as well as looking at the issues for the resource sector as a whole.
The CASA surveillance team had access to expertise from the certificate management team based in the Western Region, and resources from the national helicopter inspectorate.
With time constraints and vast distances to be covered, the surveillance team travelled in a Beechcraft King Air aircraft piloted by two of the highly qualified team members.
In addition to identifying and mitigating specific risks, the surveillance sweep fostered professional working relationships. The team’s visits ran smoothly and were well received by the operators involved.
CASA’s surveillance team at Exmouth, WA. L to R: Mark Richardson, John Skeldon, Joanna Seabrook, Wayne Tempany, Neil Forbes, David Thiele and Greg Deal (photographer).