ANALYSIS OF HELICOPTER OPERATIONS AND THE USE OF MLS IN THE OFFSHORE ENVIRONMENT

R. Loh

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: At the present time the majority of the offshore helicopter operations are in support of the oil/gas industry and most of the off-shore heliports are in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the oil companies have started to drill off the Northeast coast, where the weather is much more severe. The severe weather could lead to a need for a precision approach and landing guidance capability on the offshore heliports. The offshore environment is relatively unique; thus, it was decided to determine if the Microwave Landing System (MLS) can satisfy all the requirements for performing precision approach and landing onto an offshore heliport, The study approach includes: the use of a pilot’s questionnaire to help determine the requirements, a preliminary analysis of MLS with respect to satisfying the requirements; and a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the life cycle cost of the MLS can be amortized by the potential benefits. As expected, not all the benefits can be quantified and only those benefits easily quan- tifiable in dollars are compared with the cost of the MLS. The results indicate that MLS has the potential to satisfy the determined requirements but the dollar benefits alone can amortize only a small fraction of the MLS costs, except in rare cases (e.g., very large crew movements). However, a qualitative case for a precision approach capability could be made based on safety benefits and the consequent improvements in crew morale.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 27, Number 3
Pages: 226 - 236
Cite this article: Loh, R., "ANALYSIS OF HELICOPTER OPERATIONS AND THE USE OF MLS IN THE OFFSHORE ENVIRONMENT", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall 1980, pp. 226-236.
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