Equinor secures new helicopter capacity

Equinor has secured 15 new helicopters for passenger traffic on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) through contracts with helicopter manufacturers Bell and Leonardo.

After an extensive process, Equinor has qualified new helicopter types for passenger transport on the NCS. Under these contracts, Equinor will receive ten new Bell 525 helicopters and five AW189 helicopters.

“These helicopter types will supplement the current Sikorsky S-92. All three helicopter models meet stringent safety requirements. By increasing from one to three helicopter models on the NCS we get more flexibility and regularity,” said Kjetil Hove, executive vice president, Exploration & Production Norway.

The first two helicopters will be delivered from Leonardo in the first quarter of 2025. In 2026, Leonardo will deliver three, and Bell four helicopters. The additional six helicopters from Bell will be delivered in line with the agreed production plan for the period 2027-2030.

“All Equinor unions, including the safety delegates, have been thoroughly involved in the process and are positive that the company has taken this initiative. These helicopters have the quality and characteristics that we need offshore,” the unions and safety delegates said in a joint statement.

“We depend on safe and efficient logistics operations to maintain a high activity level on the NCS well into the future. The new models feature technological improvements in terms of pilot support systems, passenger comfort and noise reduction,” said Ørjan Kvelvane, Equinor’s senior vice president for joint operations support.

Information about the contracts is published today for market reasons. The contract negotiations had been completed before the accident on 28 February.