UK and Norway to lift flight ban of two Super Puma helicopters
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway are set to lift a flight ban of the H225LP and AS332L2 Super Puma helicopters across the two countries.
The ban was imposed after an accident involving a H225 killed 13 people near Turøy, Norway, last year.
Following the ban, operators in the UK and Norway were unable to use Super Pumas, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, for commercial offshore flights.
The latest decision to remove the ban came after close consultations with the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) and Airbus Helicopters, as well as the UK and Norwegian operators.
Airbus Helicopters has also made improvements and modifications, in addition to introducing enhanced safety measures and maintenance inspection methods for the relevant helicopter types.
UK CAA airworthiness head John McColl said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. It has only been made after receiving extensive information from the Norwegian accident investigators and being satisfied with the subsequent changes introduced by Airbus Helicopters through detailed assessment and analysis.
“The safety of those who travel on offshore helicopter flights is a key priority for both the UK and Norwegian aviation authorities.
“We would not have made this decision unless we were convinced that the changes to the helicopters and their maintenance restore the required airworthiness standards.”
The CAA is also planning to undertake further checks, modifications and inspections before allowing the proposed Super Puma flights in the country.
Individual operators will also be required to provide safety cases if they wish to resume Super Puma flights.
Image: An Airbus H225LP helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Airbus.