PSA Flags Drone Activity Offshore Norway

PSA Flags Drone Activity Offshore Norway
The organization urged increased vigilance by operators and vessel owners on the NCS.

Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has flagged observations of unidentified drones/aircraft offshore in a statement posted on its website.

Operator companies on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) have recently given warnings/notifications of a number of observations concerning unidentified drones/aircraft close to offshore installations, PSA noted in the statement.

The organization urged increased vigilance by operators and vessel owners on the NCS, highlighting that unidentified aircraft could involve increased risk in several areas. These include helicopter traffic and movements by search and rescue helicopters, explosion hazards, facility collisions, and deliberate attacks, PSA outlined.

“We assume that a number of players in the industry are already aware of these incidents, but nevertheless consider it appropriate to inform about them,” PSA noted in a letter sent to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Norwegian Coastal Administration, Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, Offshore Norge, and the Norwegian Shipowners Association.

“We would urge increased vigilance, a review of emergency preparedness measures and incident response, and information sharing. Furthermore, communication in general is crucial in the petroleum industry and with collaborating government agencies,” PSA added in the letter.

In the letter, PSA reminded operators and vessel owners that warning and notification of observations must be made to the organization, pursuant to section 58 of the framework regulations on warning and notification in connection with entry into safety zones.

A safety zone is a geographically delimited area where unauthorized vessels or aircraft are prohibited or restricted from remaining, transiting or operating, PSA noted in the statement posted on its website. All platforms on the NCS are surrounded by a safety zone, which normally extends 500 meters out from the facility, and from the seabed to 500 meters above the highest point on the facility, PSA outlined.

“Infringing a safety zone may be punishable by law. The police will consider whether to launch an investigation,” PSA said in the statement.

PSA is a government supervisory and administrative agency with regulatory responsibility for safety, the working environment, emergency preparedness and security in the petroleum sector, according to the organization’s website. PSA reports to the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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