Gloucestershire-based Bond Air Services is celebrating the maiden flight in support of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, the first helicopter operation of its kind in the UK.
With a generation capacity of 500MW and a total of 140 turbines, Greater Gabbard wind farm, located 25km off the Suffolk coast, is currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Under the contract, Bond will provide helicopter services to deliver maintenance technicians by hoist to the turbines of the wind farm.
Bond Air Services anticipates that wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers that choose to include helicopters as part of their Operations & Maintenance strategy will ultimately benefit from increased productivity.
Stephen Rose, Offshore Wind Generation Manager at Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited, said: “Safety is our number one priority at all times, and by using helicopters it means that we can get greater access to the turbines in conditions which may have been otherwise impossible by boat.”
David Bond, Commercial Manager for Marine Services at Bond Air Services said: “We’re delighted to have started operations at Greater Gabbard. It marks an important milestone for the company which strengthens our reputation for innovation and reinforces our position as the UK’s market leader in the provision of helicopter services.”
Press release, October 22, 2012; Image: bondaviationgroup