Helicopter Transportation Suits
When traveling offshore by helicopter, workers wear helicopter passenger transportation suits designed to protect them in an emergency evacuation at sea. As part of continuous improvement efforts, offshore operators in Atlantic Canada are working collectively to complete a new suit, aiming for an expected introduction in 2015.
Although helicopter transportation suits currently in use offshore are still approved for use and meet previous standard requirements, the new suit’s development follows an extensive review of the Canadian General Standards Board’s helicopter passenger transportation suit standard. This multi-year review, which involved significant input from operators, regulators, suit manufacturers and the offshore workforce, resulted in an improved standard for helicopter passenger transportation suits.
The new suit will include a number of new features designed to meet this new standard while improving comfort for the wearer, including:
- New lightweight Gore-Tex material
- Yellow colour for improved visual detection
- Neck and wrist seals with integrated hoods and mitts to prevent leakage
- Incorporation of release valves in the ankle and shoulder areas to vent residual air in an immersion scenario
- Inflatable buoyancy element, including inflatable spray hood assembly and thermal protection to the head
- Improved thermal insulation and comfort using advanced materials
- A built-in pocket to accommodate the Helicopter Underwater Emergency Breathing Apparatus (HUEBA)
To ensure a proper fit, the new suit will be available in 32 sizes, including seven girth and two height ranges.