A new offshore helicopter operator for the North Sea oil and gas industry is formally set to take off from Aberdeen airport on New Year’s Day.
The Belgian-based operator NHV Group will start daily flights from Dyce on 1 Jan to/from Chevron installations, with two new Airbus H175 helicopters now added to its fleet.
In December 2014, fast-growing NHV carried out the first H175 commercial flight just seven days after taking delivery of the aircraft. Exactly 12 months later, the helicopter is approaching nearly 2,000 hours of commercial operation.
Speaking at his new hangar at Dyce, Eric Van Hal, Founder and Chief Executive of NHV, said: “It is not every day you see a new helicopter operator in Aberdeen – so we are very proud to be here.
“It’s been a five-year struggle to get into Dyce. There is well-established competition and the demand for airbase premises meant that we were twice disappointed on the eve of signing commercial contracts.
“However, we are very determined and we are also very confident that our track record and commitment to customer service – along with the carrying and range capacity of our new H175 helicopters – will prove a winning formula.
“By extending our partnership with Chevron, NHV is launching a brand new service in a brand new market with a brand new machine.”
The NHV heliport facility is located at the north east corner of Aberdeen Dyce airport, with short distances to the runways and limited taxi-ing time needed.
The complex comprises a 2,400m² hangar and offices, a passenger terminal with check in, X-ray, security, safety equipment storage and issue, and safety briefing rooms. On the ground floor of the complex there is a general waiting area and on the upper floor a dedicated passenger lounge. Catering facilities are provided by a local supplier.
Based in Ostend Belgium, NHV specialises in B2B helicopter services – “although as far as we’re concerned, they’re all P2P – People to People – services”, said Van Hal.
With a team of over 650 employees. NHV’s main focus is on the oil and gas industry. The group has a leading position in Europe as the only helicopter operator that conducts operations in every oil producing country in the region.
Van Hal added: “The H175 helicopter was designed specifically with the oil and gas industry in mind – so the opening of our Aberdeen base and the first Aberdeen based contract with Chevron North Sea will start on the 1st of January with two H175s.
“These are strategically very important achievements which were only possible thanks to the commitment from all our stakeholders, our employees, our customers, our partners and our majority shareholder, Ardian.”
George Graham from Chevron – who was presented with his very own H175 helicopter (model) by Eric Van Hall, NHV Chief Executive, added: “We’ve had a very good experience operating out of Wick with NHV and this is another major step forward we’re taking again with them in Aberdeen”.