The Government has decided that Norway does not wish to introduce EU additional rules for offshore helicopter operations, despite contributing to designing them.
The Government’s decision is in line with the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority’s recommendation, the Ministry of Transport and Communications states.
“I am confident it is a good solution for Norway that we do not introduce these rules for offshore helicopter operations,” said Minister of Transport, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (Progress party).
The Ministry justifies the decision that the regulation falls outside the scope of the EEA Agreement, and is therefore not EEA-relevant. They also mean Norway’s peculiar weather conditions, especially in the winter, means that we must have a locally-designed regulatory framework.
“The horrific helicopter accident at Turøy was a tragic reminder that accidents can happen. I know that the oil community is concerned that the safety work is being done with full force and that all rules and procedures should take into account Norwegian conditions and the competence that our professional communities have developed, “said the Minister for Transport.
However, Solvik-Olsen emphasizes that he has high confidence in the safety work at European level and that several elements of the regulatory framework can be incorporated into Norwegian law.
Pilots are pleased
Norwegian Pilot Association, which organizes most offshore pilots, is very pleased with the decision. They believe that Norwegian safety work is good enough today and does not want to be involved in the EU common rules.
“The consequence of introducing common European rules would be that foreign companies and supervisors would have a significant responsibility for helicopter safety on the Norwegian continental shelf. This without competence, proximity and ownership, “says Carl Gilbert Rego of the Norwegian Pilot Association.