Helicopter demand to triple for offshore missions by 2021
Irish lessor Waypoint has released a new report on the offshore wind market that predicts an increasing demand for helicopter support for offshore turbines.
Waypoint expects the number of helicopters on dedicated offshore wind support missions to more than triple, growing to at least 100 by 2021. This is due to the increasing number of wind turbines being built further offshore.
The report says that these turbines will better served by helicopters than crew support vessels as helicopters perform more economically at longer ranges (50 to 200 kilometres) when compared to crew support vessels.
Helicopters also have an advantage over boats in severe weather conditions. Waypoint calculated the probability of a successful support mission to the north sea and found that helicopters have an 87% probability of access with vessels having only a 51% due to the ability to operate in bad weather conditions.
These windfarms will be best served by both light and medium capacity helicopters. Light twin helicopters are expected to carry five to seven passengers on hoist operations and medium helicopters are expected to transfer 10-12 crew to and from service vessels and offshore platforms or substations.
You can read the full report here.