Azerbaijani Helicopter Company approved for external load OGP operations

SWHS is ready to offer new services not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Russia and in South East Asia and Africa SWHS is ready to offer new services not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Russia and in South East Asia and Africa (Photo by Silk Way Helicopter Services)

Azerbaijani commercial helicopter operator Silk Way Helicopter Services (SWHS) has reported on its newly received status of official service provider for external load operations involving a cargo sling on offshore and onshore oil and gas platforms, according to Oil &Gas Producers Standard (OGP).

The new status approval enables the company to expand its range of services. The most in-demand services include the replacement of flare stacks on oil and gas platforms and the transportation of oversized loads using a cargo sling to hard-to-reach spots. The works will be performed with the use of a medium-lift helicopter type Sikorsky S-92A.

As was explained to Russian Aviation Insider at SWHS, the helicopter operator had already been licensed by authorities to provide this type of services. A final release for works was obtained by SWHS only after it received a special approval from a client, British Oil&Gas company BP.

“We received an official permit for these works with the use of Mil helicopters long ago and with the use of Sikorsky helicopters not so long ago, but in order to work according to OGP standard, you need to have approval from one of OGP members,” explained a SWHS representative.

Previously, foreign helicopter companies were invited to Azerbaijan to replace flare stacks—from now on, these tasks will be undertaken by SWHS. The operator is ready to offer new services not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Russia, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Along with S-92As, the fleet of the SWHS, based at Zabrat Airport near Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, includes such rotary-wing aircraft as Airbus Helicopter AS332L1 Super Puma, H155 (formerly EC155B1), H135 (EC135P2) and Mi-8 MTV-1/Mi-171. The operator fleets also includes aircraft Cessna Skyhawk 172S.

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