NCAA lifts suspension on Bristow Helicopter

By The Rainbow
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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has lifted the temporary suspension on the operation of the Bristow Helicopter Sirkorsky S-76 aircrafts in the country.

The suspension was contained in a statement signed by its External Communications Manager, Julie King, obtained by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

NAN report has it that NCAA had on Feb. 4, suspended Bristow Helicopter's aircraft type Sikorsky S-76C from further operations in Nigeria due to the successive mishaps of the aircraft type in the country.

According to the statement, the return of the Sikorsky S-76 aircraft to flight operations followed completion of the NCAA's comprehensive operational audit.

It said the company, in addition, carried out an extensive return to service safety activities.

The statement said Bristow Group Vice President, Global Operations, Mr Mike Imlach, thanked the NCAA for conducting a thorough review of its operations.

“We completed a detailed safety inspection of our S-76 series helicopters and test flights for all (16) S-76 aircraft in compliance with the NCAA.

“Our Group President and CEO, Jonathan Baliff, was a passenger in one of the approved non-revenue test flights to demonstrate his confidence in the safety of our S-76 fleet,” it quoted Imlach as saying.

The statement noted that Bristow had concluded a number of return to service safety activities with flight crews, engineers and other service employees, clients and key stakeholders.

“This is an additional precautionary measure prior to resuming the S-76 fleet to operation.

“These activities include maintenance assessment reviews, risk assessment, and pre-flight safety briefings with passengers to give them the opportunity to talk to the crew and ask questions,” it said.

The statement said the company had also engaged a reputable independent third party aviation firm to conduct an additional review of its entire operations in Nigeria.

“Bristow proposes that the review be extended to other operators in Nigeria so that best practices can be shared to enhance safety across the industry.

“The company has commenced discussions with a number of operators regarding their participation.

“Bristow is in full compliance with NCAA regulatory requirements and all Sikorsky directives for its fleet.

“The company maintains its aircraft to industry standards in accordance with special maintenance and monitoring programmes developed by the aircraft and engine manufacturers, that are fully approved by the NCAA,” it said.

-Emmanuel Ikechukwu