Bracing for Brexit – NHV Group gains UK operating certificate


Airbus H175 operated by NHV

Airbus H175 operated by NHV

The protracted volatility of the oil and gas market has caused financial troubles for many helicopter operators in Europe. But Belgian operator NHV has weathered the storm well.

This week, it took steps to further secure its future in the market by acquiring an air operator certificate (AOC) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

This will allow the European company to continue its operations in the North Sea in the event of a no-deal Brexit and allow pilots with EU licences to fly NHVs aircraft registered in the UK. Additionally, it will enable NHV to continue to operate its bases in Aberdeen and Norwich regardless of any future UK-EU aviation agreement.

NHV has inducted seven aircraft under the UK AOC which were previously registered in Belgium.

Michael Gislam, accountable manager of NHV’s UK AOC, said: “We are proud to have been granted our AOC after demonstrating our compliance to the UK CAA’s requirements. The support and dedication of the UK Civil Aviation Authority in processing our certification was outstanding, and I thank all stakeholders who have worked hard and tirelessly to achieve this AOC certification.”

No specific aviation deal has been made with the European Union. Operators in the commercial space have already taken steps to ensure they can fly in EU skies without hindrance. For example, EasyJet has relocated its headquarters to Austria to continue to benefit from the Single European Skies initiative.

Jamie John, NHVs base manager at Aberdeen, added: “I believe it was the right call and right time to pursue our UK AOC. We have been extremely encouraged by the level of interest from our customers during the certification process. By adding the UK AOC to our portfolio, we already have a key part of our Brexit contingency plan in place.”

NHV has secured several long-term oil and gas contracts this year. Most recently, it struck a deal to provide offshore transport services for Petrofac.