Five of the world's biggest offshore helicopter operators are to join forces in a new safety initiative to share best practice throughout the industry.

To be based in London, Heli Offshore's board will comprise executives from Avincis, Bristow Group, CHC Helicopter, ERA Group and PHI. It will be led by Gretchen Haskins, an expert in human factors and a former safety director and board member at the UK Civil Aviation Authority and air navigation service provider NATS.

It build on the work that Avincis, Bristow and CHC have carried out as part of their Joint Operators Review into North Sea helicopter safety – an initiative set up in the wake of a fatal crash in August 2013 off the coast of Shetland.

The formal launch of Heli Offshore will take place later this month, but other operators are already being canvassed over potential membership. The initiative will additionally take over work previously carried out by the European Helicopter Operators Committee.