The Sikorsky S-92 multimission helicopter has been granted clearance by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to operate from helidecks originally designed for lighter S-61Ns. The Health and Safety Executive and Safety Regulation Group, a division of the CAA, has accepted the Sikorsky-sponsored analysis that S-92s with up to a maximum take-off weight of 12,020kg (26,500lb) can operate safely and without restriction from up to 103 helidecks in the UK sector of the North Sea.

"As the S-92 becomes a more prevalent aircraft for offshore oil in the UK, this confirmation is good news for helideck operators who may be looking to upgrade their fleets from the S-61Ns," says Marc Poland, Sikorsky vice-president, commercial programmes. Meanwhile, UK offshore operator Bristow Helicopters has exercised an option to purchase four additional S-92s, bringing its firm order to 11. The company has also added a further 10 S-92 options to its contract.

Source: Flight International