Widely welcomed by the industry, Orga’s innovative helideck touchdown/ positioning marking and heliport identification marking lighting system, Circle-H, delivers a step change in helicopter safety on UK offshore helidecks and comes highly praised by the helicopter pilots.
Orga has a long history of working alongside the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) on helideck lighting projects. With a reputation for high quality, reliable and durable products and renowned for its expertise in hazardous areas and the harsh offshore environment, Orga’s credentialsspeak for themselves.
Dave Howson, the research project manager within the UK CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Groupresponsible for its helicopter safety research programme, acknowledges Orga’s strong and productive partnership.
"Orga became involved after we had produced the draft specification for the circle and ‘H’ system," he explains. "Of course, producing a specification is one thing. It’s a harsh environment, offshore, so actually producing equipment that meets the specifications, survives the environment and does so in a cost effective and reliable way, is another."
Howson admits that, prior to Orga’s involvement, they were struggling a little to produce equipment that would withstand the extreme offshore conditions.Howson adds that "Orga contributed significantly to the detail of the specification, making sure that we had dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s,"attributing Orga’s success to its very large research and development department.
Indeed, with over 4,000 test landings on Centrica’s CPC-1 platform in Morecambe Bay, since October 2012, the Circle-Hsystem has proved so robust and so successful in improving the visual cueing for helicopter approaches and landingsoffshore, that the UK CAA has incorporated the circle and ‘H’ helideck lighting configuration in its internationally acknowledged guidance on standards, CAP 437. Fully backed by Oil & Gas UK, the industry now has until March 2018 to retrofit the new lighting to all UK offshore helidecks.
Daniel Powell, Orga’s product group manager, is confident that the industry is onside with this mandate but he appreciates that "there’s a lot of work to do".Orga’s certified system allows for quick installation but as every platform is different, tailoring the lighting to each deck will take time. "It might sound simple but there is whole range of complications that can arise," Powell cautions. "To hit the March 2018 deadline, companies with a large number of helidecks need to act sooner rather than later."