The energy-rich stretch of the Irish Sea off Lancashire’s Fylde Coast is home to a number of offshore platforms providing oil, gas and wind energy to the UK – and with its coastal location, Blackpool Airport has become the ideal base for offshore helicopter operations, flying crews to and from windfarms and oil and gas fields.
Offshore flights are operated through Blackpool’s purpose-built helicopter terminal and from this base, Babcock currently operates two Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopters on a seven-day per week service to various oil and gas platforms in the Irish Sea.
A new service by NHV Group is set to commence operations in December, providing passenger transfer services in support of Spirit Energy’s East Irish Sea operations, using the latest twin-turbine AW169 helicopters.
NHV Group, headquartered in Ostend Belgium, is a specialist B2B helicopter services with a main focus on the energy producing industry, as well as Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), Maritime Services, Search and Rescue (SAR) and Harbour Pilot Services.
Blackpool Airport’s proximity to Britain’s Energy Coast has also led it to become home to the flagship £12m Lancashire Energy HQ (LEHQ), a training base for the UK energy sector located on the airport’s thriving Enterprise Zone. LEHQ is delivering the next generation of engineers and technicians through training in renewable and low-carbon energy generation, as well as traditional oil and gas training and skills.
Airport Manager Stephen Smith welcomed NHV, saying: “We are looking forward to working with NHV to further develop and strengthen the airport’s ties with the offshore operation with the aim of providing positive sustainable businesses, especially in these incredibly difficult challenging times.”