Statement issued Thursday 15 April 2010 Oil & Gas UK has been informed that all routine offshore helicopter flights into the UK continental shelf (UKCS) from UK airports are currently disrupted due to an airspace restriction. This restriction relates to the presence of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
This has affected a number of planned crew changes, however the safety of the workforce and the helicopter crews obviously takes priority over any operational or rota requirements.
"Oil and gas operators are currently considering their contingency plans to assess how a prolonged suspension of flights would affect their operations, and what non-essential activities could be postponed in that case.
"Oil & Gas UK understands that SAR aircraft and air ambulances in the UK remain operational. Emergency response vessels, which play a vital role in search and rescue operations, are not affected by the situation and are operating as normal.”