A well known name is returning to British skies with creation of a new rotorcraft operation to support North Sea oil and gas exploration and production activity. The name is Bond, Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH), and it will be licensed to fly.
Bond Offshore Helicopters
The prodigal sons of the North Sea oil-support community, brothers Stephen and Peter Bond, have returned to the fray more than eight weeks early. The first operational flights by Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH) took off last month. Managing director Geoff Williams said there are several reasons behind the move, but it was always their intention to start flying in advance of the contracted date of August 1.
Bond Offshore Helicopters will use two Super Pumas for dedicated 24-hour search and rescue (SAR) in support of BP’s North Sea exploration in UK waters. The Eurocopter Super Puma AS 332L Mk IIs are part of an integrated “Jigsaw” concept that employs regional support vessels, autonomous fast rescue craft, platform radar and personal locator beacons in place of the traditional standby vessel support.
It was bound to happen eventually. British International (BI), the company that rose from the ashes of what was once North Sea operator British International Helicopters, is back on the energy-support map. This month it will start flying Shell workers out to an economically promising but politically controversial gas field known as Corrib, 62 miles off the northwestern coast of the county of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
The upsurge in oil and gas activity is putting increasing strain on helicopter operators’ ability to serve their offshore customers, and highlighting a potential shortage of aircraft.