Viking and Heliservice USA establish PPE agreement for offshore wind safety

April 17, 2024

Viking Life-Saving Equipment and Heliservice USA enhance safety in offshore wind operations

Viking Life-Saving Equipment and Heliservice USA have entered into a strategic partnership to ensure a consistent supply of certified personal protective equipment (PPE) for offshore wind operations along the U.S. East Coast.

The agreement provides Heliservice USA with a continuous source of ETSO-approved PPE, catering to the needs of aircrews and service technicians involved in turbine installation and maintenance.

Facilities and equipment management at Quonset Point

Heliservice USA will maintain a full inventory of Viking PPE at its Quonset Point location in Rhode Island, where it has recently expanded facilities to better serve regional offshore wind projects.

The inventory will include pilot and crew immersion suits, aviation life jackets, and hoisting gear.

Additionally, Heliservice USA is authorized to manage the maintenance and service of Viking PPE, in accordance with ETSO ‘Part 145’ standards.

First deployment under the new agreement

The partnership has already facilitated the deployment of Viking PPE to support Vestas Wind Systems’ operations in the region.

Viking has a global frame agreement with Vestas to enhance safety for airborne personnel across various international territories.

Under this new agreement, Heliservice USA will serve as the preferred PPE supplier for Vestas in the United States.

Bettina Kjærgaard, Global Sales Manager Offshore Wind at Viking Life-Saving Equipment, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership: “This is a key strategic partnership for Viking, and a strong validation of our aviation and service technician PPE in the offshore wind industry worldwide.

“It provides a highly efficient and practical solution for Vestas as the end-client by ensuring best quality PPE is always available, while partnership with Heliservice USA also provides a platform for growth with other clients and in other markets.”

Heliservice USA’s role and expansion in the U.S. offshore wind sector

Heliservice USA has been instrumental in the development of U.S. wind farms, being the first and only helicopter operator dedicated to offshore wind projects in the nation.

The company has capitalized on over three decades of experience from its partnership with Heliservice Germany, a global leader in helicopter operations for offshore wind.

Heliservice USA supports its clients with a variety of services including crew transfer, hoisting, cargo transportation, and helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS).

Chris Campo, Director of Sales and Business Development at Heliservice USA, highlighted the importance of reliable partners in the industry: “Working with Viking means that our service clients can always be assured of the highest quality PPE, while we maximize the time the products supplied are in service.

“Recent investments mean the future is bright for offshore wind power in the US, and we’re also delighted to add local service jobs to the industry.”

Environmental benefits of local PPE inventory

Kees-Jan van Engelenburg, Aviation Operations Manager NCE, Offshore Bid Management & Operations Logistics at Vestas Northern & Central Europe, discussed the environmental advantages of the partnership: “Holding the Viking PPE inventory in Rhode Island would also avoid the greenhouse gas emissions involved in frequently sourcing specialized equipment from Europe.

“In this instance, unifying our PPE resource will mean we don’t have to double-up on special equipment, so exchanging PPE will be quick and like for like, while uniformity on safety sheets, briefings, and videos will embed best practice across the board.”

FSJA Comment

The agreement between Viking Life-Saving Equipment and Heliservice USA marks a proactive step in enhancing safety protocols for the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind sector.

By ensuring a reliable and localized supply of certified personal protective equipment, this partnership not only addresses immediate operational needs but also supports longer-term sustainability and efficiency.

The strategic alignment with global wind energy leader Vestas underscores the critical nature of safety in challenging environments and highlights the integrated approach to operational excellence and environmental stewardship.

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