If we want to offer offshore employees improved safety in transport to offshore installations, it may be required to look at alternative ways. Maybe we have improved helicopter safety in the Norwegian offshore activities so much, that although not impossible, further improvement will only come at very excessive costs.
RNNP indicators published in the end of April suggest that helicopter safety is already at a high level. Tragically, the Turøy accident occured the day after. It is thus very obvious that even if the indicators are good, tragic accidents may still happen.
A chronicle is published in Stavanger Aftenblad (in Norwegian), focusing on the need for evaluation of alternative means. Vessel transport of personnel is an alternative, it will never be able to replace helicopter transport, but could be a supplement in certain areas, giving the offshore employees a possible choice of which means of transport they would prefer.
Some of the comments remind us that this has been considered more than once before. That is obviously true, but it is a long time ago (30+ years), and the conditions are changed. There are stricter requirements to safety these days, and with a Norwegian aim to be world leading in offshore HES, we need to keep an open mind for new possibilities.