By Chinedu Eze
Bristow Helicopters has said it is in talks with government and its agencies over the directive by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) to its joint venture partners, international oil companies, to cancel its services contract with them.
Bristow confirmed in a statement at the weekend that a number of its clients have received the letters from the NAPIMS requesting termination of Bristow’s services. The airline said it has engaged the authority and other government officials on the matter.
“Safety is Bristow’s number one core value and we remain focused on safety in all aspects of our operation. We are in full 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 company said.
It said a comprehensive audit has been performed by the NCAA and that the company 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 statement added.
Bristow also said the NCAA has also authorised that the company starts test flights of the S-76 C++.
Bristow Helicopters said it 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 and 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 company said.