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UK CAA makes improved touchdown and positioning system mandatory

04th November 2013

 

As from 2018 the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) is making a new touchdown and positioning system for helidecks mandatory in British waters. In recent years Orga has installed the new system at various test sites. The results of the tests showed such a great improvement in safety that in February this year the UK CAA decided to make them mandatory. A number of countries are expected to follow this example. Daniel Powell, product group manager at Orga said: "The visibility of the LED-lit Circle-H provides greatly increased safety, particularly in poor weather conditions and for night flights." 

 

From a recommendation to a requirement 

 

In October 2012, after a number of years of research and development, Orga installed the new touchdown and positioning system on an offshore helideck site in the Irish Sea. This is a test site where already more than 3,500 helicopter landings have taken place, both at night and during the day in all sorts of weather conditions.

In the first few months, the UK CAA already saw so many major advantages of the Orga system that it gave its recommendation that all helidecks on offshore platforms should be fitted with the LED-lit Circle-H. Just a few months later, in February 2013, the organisation made this recommendation a requirement. Powell said: "If you look at the improved visibility, and the benefits of this for safety, this requirement is a logical decision."

 

Process

 

The CAA wants all helidecks on platforms in the Irish Sea to be equipped with the new touchdown and positioning system by 2018. Half of the sites must already be equipped with the system by March 2016. The requirements and the directives with which the system must comply are set out in a report that was published recently, CAP 1077. At the moment, Orga is the only company that can produce a fully certified Circle-H.

"In order to provide all helidecks on offshore platforms with the mandatory Circle-H before 2018, it is important that customers let us know that they are interested in good time. It is only in this way that we can coordinate the production and installation process properly and ensure that the helidecks are equipped with the new system in time," Powell added.