*As NCAA authorizes test flight
27 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Bristow Helicopters has responded to the termination of its contracts with international oil companies, IOCs, operating in Nigeria, noting that it has engaged government officials to ensure amicable resolution of all outstanding issues.
“We are aware that a number of our clients have received a letter from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, instructing them to terminate Bristow’s services,” a statement released by management of the company disclosed.
“Safety is Bristow’s number one core value and we remain focused on safety in all aspects of our operation. We are in compliance of all Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, regulatory requirements and Sikorsky operating directives, and continue to fully cooperate with the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, in their investigation into the event of February 3, 2016.”
The statement disclosed that a comprehensive audit has been performed by the NCAA, adding that Bristow is also conducting series of additional safety assurance checks on the Sikorsky S-76 fleet as a precautionary measure prior to returning the aircraft to service.
The aircraft operator disclosed that the NCAA has also authorized that Bristow starts test flights of the S-76 C++.
Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited has operated in Nigeria since 1969, and during that time has maintained high standards and safety values, and trained and employed a significant number of pilots and engineers in the industry in Nigeria. A major contributor of trained manpower and facilities in the industry, Bristow has contributed its support to the nation’s aviation and oil & gas industry through its pilot and engineer training programs and donations to the two aviation colleges in the country,
“We remain committed to continuing our safety work with all members of the aviation community, including other operators, to share best practices and support other initiatives that will help improve safety, and to honoring the contractual obligations with our customers.
“We are engaging an independent third party to conduct an additional review of Bristow’s operations in Nigeria, with the expectation that such initiative will also extend to include the review of other similar entities across the Nigerian oil and gas industry, so that best practices can be shared laterally across all operators to further enhance safety.”
The National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, the investment arm of the NNPC had recently sent a written memo to all international oil companies operating in the country asking them to cancel outstanding contracts with Bristow Helicopters owing to a recent crash where lives were lost as well as a recent controlled ditch initiated by a pilot to save the lives of all those on board.