New Product Requirement for Helideck Lighting
Published: September 22, 2020
By Isabelle Simonsen
On May 15th, 2019, the Norwegian Aviation Authority published a new standard for use of offshore helidecks. Within this new standard, there is a new product requirement within the helideck lighting package called the Status Light system (§36.c). The Status Light system is a system designed to warn pilots of any situation onboard which could pose a risk to flight operations. The requirement has also been added to NORSOK C-004:2019, 19.1 and requirements are to be met within 01.01.21.
A bright red flash is used to indicate the dangerous situation, which should be automatically triggered through a Fire & Gas alarm, or if the asset is exceeding the motion limits set in the integrated HMS solution. There are several alternatives to connect the F&G alarm and HMS solution to the Status Light system, ranging from a simple 24V signal to fully integrated operations through Modbus TCP/IP. The system should also have the facility to be manually activated/deactivated by the HLO, which means that the system should have flexible control options.
Another important consideration to assess when purchasing and installing a Status Light system, is that the lights should be visible from all approach angles and when the helicopter is on the helicopter deck. This means that any topside objects which obstruct the visibility of the lights will generate the need for multiple lights.
There are two different lights in a Status Light System, Main Light and Repeater Light. The Main Light is used to warn pilots on approach, with a minimum range of 0,75NM (1400m). In order to comply with the requirement of 360° visibility on approach, the asset might need install multiple Main Lights. The Repeater light is a low intensity light at a maximum intensity of 60cd, which can be used to fulfil the requirement of visibility while on the deck, but cannot be considered within the 360° visibility on approach requirement.
The goal for the implementation of the Status Light system is to give an instant warning to the pilots of any dangerous situation on the deck, in cooperation with communication from the HLO to the helicopter. As the Status Light system is seen as a safety critical system it must be connected to the UPS, together with perimeter lighting and floodlighting.
References/regulations (in Norwegian):
“Forskrift om luftfart med helikopter – bruk av offshore helikopterdekk” FOR-2019-05-14-604, §36c:
c) Et visuelt varslingssystem (statuslys) som indikerer status for helikopterdekket, og som aktiveres automatisk dersom det oppstår en situasjon som utgjør en uakseptabel risiko for helikopteroperasjon. Varslingssystemet må kunne overstyres manuelt av HLO. Varslingssystemet må
i. være synlig for helikopterbesetningen fra alle innflygingsretninger og når helikopteret står på helikopterdekket
ii. kunne dimmes slik at det ikke blender helikopterbesetningen
iii. være koblet opp mot installasjonens system for registrering av gassutslipp, slik at det aktiveres automatisk dersom gassnivået når farlig nivå
iv. være koblet opp mot installasjonens system for registrering av bevegelser på helikopterdekket, slik at det aktiveres når bevegelsene overstiger begrensningene.
NORSOK C-004:2019, 19.1:
The helideck shall be suitably lit for operations at night and under reduced visability conditions. The pilots shall on approach, be able to identify the helideck and have a clear view of the helideck landing area. Structures and building surfaces around the helideck shall be illuminated to provide a good visual cueing environment for operations at night. The helideck lighting shall consist of perimeter lights, floodlights, status lights and lowered perimeter walkway lights.