Offshore helideck friction testing enters new era in UAE



Since the recent issue of the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (UAE GCAA) advisory publication Civil Aviation Advisory Publication 71 (CAAP 71), offshore operators are required to friction test their helidecks using a tester with specific abilities.

CAAP 71 specifies that the test method should involve a friction measuring device that:

Employs the braked wheel technique;

·         Is able to control the wetness of the deck during testing;

·         Includes electronic data collection, storage and processing;

·         Allows the hole of the helideck surface to be covered at a resolution of not less than one-meter squared.

The leading helideck inspection company in the UAE, Oryx Aviation Consulting (OAC) has since been inundated with requests for CAAP 71 compliant friction tests as the industry adapts to these new and comprehensive guidelines.

Their compliant friction testers fully comply with the CAAP 71 requirements and OAC is the only company currently offering this vital and fully compliant service in Abu Dhabi.

“We wholeheartedly welcome and endorse these new guidelines issued by the UAE GCAA, CAAP 71 Helidecks (Offshore), said Matt Hayes, OAC operations manager and chief helideck inspector. “This groundbreaking initiative clearly sets out the requirements for enhanced helideck operations in the UAE. Friction testing is just one small, but vital, part of the guidance material and we are pleased to be able to provide friction tests that meet the requirements, in addition to our general helideck inspection services.

“Right from the start we took the decision to operate the most advanced helideck friction tester available on the market (the Findlay Irvine Micro GT) as we recognized the need to perform realistic and comprehensive surface friction testing using equipment specifically designed for helidecks,”

said Hayes. “We do not utilize any of the other testers available, some of which are frankly far more suited to testing shopping malls, hospital flooring and the like.


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