The six largest European offshore helicopter airports have officially established the North Sea Heliports Alliance (NSHA) dedicated to servicing the offshore wind market.
The directors of the Aberdeen International Airport, Emden Airport, Esbjerg Airport, Humberside Airport, Avinor Stavanger Airport and Den Helder Airport met in March in Den Helder where they agreed to set up an alliance in preparation for the upcoming roll-out of large-scale offshore wind farms in the North Sea.
According to the members, the NSHA will become a platform for European offshore helicopter airports to assist governments, energy companies and port and industry organizations to develop sustainable and safe helicopter services for the offshore wind industry.
“This platform is a think tank for developing a vision of future offshore helicopter operations and is a response to the developing market. The idea arose from an increasing demand for helicopter flights for offshore wind projects in the North Sea and is aimed at providing the fullest possible support for wind farm operators,” said NSHA Chairman Nick Waterdrinker.
The initiative is expected to develop a vision on future offshore helicopter operations for the large North Sea offshore wind farms and on maintaining a scheduled service between several heliports.
Each NSHA meeting will be held at a different airport and will include local energy operators, Den Helder Airport said.
“This new market requires efficient helicopter services and expertise, not only for the construction of offshore wind farms over the next fifteen years, but also for a vision on long-term maintenance and supply strategies. There is a clear energy transition into offshore wind and we, as NSHA, can contribute to a broader and cost-efficient service for the offshore wind market in the North Sea,” said Olaf Schmidt, Director of Emden Airport.