Den Helder Airport implements COVID-19 strategy

In: Windfarms
Den Helder Airport has announced that, in cooperation with helicopter operators and the branch organisation of Dutch oil and gas companies NOGEPA, measures have been taken to limit the consequences of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Managing director Conny van den Hoff says: "The terminal building is only accessible to offshore passengers who, after various checks, can be expected to not be virus carriers. All areas in the building have been arranged in such a way that a distance of 1.5 meters can be guaranteed."

The helicopters, which normally fly with a maximum of 12 passengers, are now filled up to a maximum of 8 passengers in order to ensure the best possible distance between the passengers and the pilots, even in that small space.

In addition, measures have been taken to pick up people from offshore installations, who unexpectedly exhibit symptoms indicating a possible infection with the COVID-19 virus, with a special helicopter. This concerns employees with symptoms who are able to travel independently. For this purpose, NOGEPA has hired a helicopter from the Danish Bel Air.

Bel Air has drawn up an action plan to transport these passengers safely. A helicopter (an AW189) has been provided for this purpose and will be fully decontaminated after each flight. It concerns a contract for two months, which can be extended as long as necessary.

Den Helder has established itself as an important helicopter airport for not only the oil and gas industry, but also for the European offshore wind sector. Operations on a number of offshore wind farms are being supported from the airport. DHSS has been supporting helicopter operations at
Deutsche Bucht. It was also recently tasked to provide helicopter services during the construction phase of the Borssele 3&4.

The news from Den Helder Aiport follows measures implemented by Port of Den Helder which is operational, although with minimal occupancy. Port of Den Helder requests all ships entering the port to submit a Maritime Health Declaration form (MDoH), regardless of the situation on board. This MDoH must be sent at least 6 hours prior to arrival to our harbour master and must have been signed in the last 24 hours.

If it turns out to be a ship on which someone is suspected of being infected with the coronavirus the captain of the ship has to inform the following organizations depending position of the ship and besides the handling agent, conform Dutch Health Law (Wet Publieke Gezondheid).

The Port of Den Helder supports both the offshore energy industries, including oil & gas and offshore wind. Vessels operating in both sectors regularly come in an out supporting construction and maintenance activities. Approximately 90% of the national turnover of the operations & maintenance of the platforms in the North Sea comes from Den Helder.

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