In close cooperation with the helicopter operators, the companies based at Den Helder Airport and the branch organization of Dutch oil and gas companies NOGEPA, measures have been taken to limit the consequences of Covid-19 as much as possible. Managing director Conny van den Hoff says: “The terminal building is only accessible to offshore passengers who, after various checks, can be expected to not be virus carriers. All areas in the building have been arranged in such a way that a distance of 1.5 meters can be guaranteed”. The helicopters, which normally fly with a maximum of 12 passengers, are now filled up to a maximum of 8 passengers in order to ensure the best possible distance between the passengers and the pilots, even in that small space.
In addition, measures have been taken to pick up people from offshore installations, who unexpectedly exhibit symptoms indicating a possible infection with the Covid-19 virus, with a special helicopter. This concerns employees with symptoms who are able to travel independently. For this purpose, NOGEPA has hired a helicopter from the Danish Bel Air.
It is very important that these people cannot infect their colleagues and are picked up quickly. Bel Air has drawn up an action plan to transport these passengers safely. A helicopter (an AW189) has been provided for this purpose and will be fully decontaminated after each flight. It concerns a contract for 2 months, which can be extended as long as necessary.
According to Base Manager Christian van der Kruijf, the offer of Bel Air to NOGEPA mainly originated from humanity. “Surely you shouldn’t think of being stuck sick on an oil or gas platform with all the risks that entails. This virus is a reality, we can’t wait for things to go wrong, we have to take action,” says Van der Kruijf, being a pilot for Bel Air himself.
NOGEPA is “impressed and very satisfied” with the rapid cooperation with Bel Air and Den Helder Airport.
The collaboration between operators Bel Air, CHC and Heli Holland with Den Helder Airport and Air Traffic Control at Maritiem Vliegkamp de Kooy is unique. This has ensured that the right measures can be taken quickly in these difficult times.