New Technology To Assist North Sea Helicopter Ops

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Flying helicopters to offshore oil rigs is known around the world as a dangerous undertaking. Weather, heavy loads and rough seas all create a challenging task for pilots. That task will now be a little easier for pilots in the North Sea, known for stormy weather and strong winds, and home to an active offshore industry that supports more than 25,000 helicopter flights per year. New technology from Sensis Corp. will enable air traffic services to track helicopter traffic to and from oil platforms from close to the helicopter deck up to 10,000 feet, covering 25,000 square miles of airspace off the coast of Scotland. The new system will locate and identify helicopters using sensors placed on oil platforms. "It is a less expensive yet more effective solution than traditional radar," said Marc Viggiano, president of Sensis Air Traffic Systems. "The system features a low-maintenance design along with the ability to present a clear surveillance picture in any environment. Further, it supports new and emerging technologies such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B)."