1786 PP Den Helder
Phone number: +31 (0) 223 - 635 666
1786 PP Den Helder
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As you can read in this newsletter, Den Helder Airport is expanding more quickly than expected. This is due to the offshore industry's constant high level of activity in the North Sea, which is not only advantageous for the airport, but also for the city of Den Helder. It provides us with a significant amount of work. Looking ahead to the future, and particularly to next year, it would be realistic to assume that the North Sea activities will subside. This, in turn, will have an immediate effect on the number of flight movements to and from Den Helder Airport. Due to the consistently low oil prices on the global market, the crisis on the financial markets and declining energy consumption, the oil companies are already beginning to cut back on their offshore investments and to reduce their expenses onshore. For example, the NAM plans to reduce its drilling fleet on the Dutch continental shelf from four to two rigs by the end of the year. In other words, the Netherlands' largest offshore operator has taken drastic action in cutting its exploration activities. Other oil companies will undoubtedly follow suit. Time will tell how this will affect Den Helder Airport. In any case, the number of helicopter movements will decline. Hopefully part of this loss will be absorbed by an increase in the number of business flights and the start of aircraft construction activities by Euro-Enaer. We'll keep you informed.
Den Helder Airport very professional
On 1 July of this year, Bristow Helicopters officially began carrying out helicopter flights for the NAM at Den Helder Airport. "We have received a warm welcome here," chief pilot Theo Lenssen of Bristow explains. "We're being assisted by the Royal Netherlands Navy, Skyline Aviation, Schreiner Northsea Helicopters and Peterson. The people are friendly and they work very professionally."
Theo Lenssen (49), a Dutchman by birth, has been working for Bristow Helicopters for twenty years. Bristow Helicopters is one of the original English helicopter companies that was founded in the early '60s by Allan Bristow.
"In those days Allan Bristow worked on a fishing boat which was equipped with a helicopter in order to hunt for whales. When the offshore industry began to develop on the North Sea, he was one of the first to offer helicopter services. Since then, Bristow Helicopters has developed into a large international company with 2,000 employees worldwide. The company headquarters is located in Redhill, near Gatwick. We offer helicopter flights for the offshore industry from various locations in England, Scotland and the Shetland Islands. And from Norway we use Norsk Helicopters, a company in which Bristow has a 49% interest. Our company also has an interest in the Italian company Helitalia and we're active in Australia, China, Central America and on the Philippines and Falkland Islands. In addition to flights for the offshore industry, Search and Rescue (SAR) operations and police flights are carried out from England. We also have a large training institute in Hampshire, where we provide training programmes for the army, air force and navy. And of course we recently started with an annex in Den Helder."
"We had already begun setting up our branch two weeks before we officially started here. We were able to lease both office and hangar space from Skyline Aviation. We now fly from Den Helder Airport with two Sikorsky S-76 helicopters. We also have a third Sikorsky S-76 on reserve. We average twelve flights a day for the NAM. We signed a contract with them for a term of five years and options to extend this twice for a one-year period. Hopefully we will be successful in concluding even more contracts so we will be able to stay here for quite some time. For Shell Expro we also fly from Norwich to platforms in the southern part of the British sector on the North Sea. In due time, the objective is to cover the entire southern part of the North Sea from Den Helder and Norwich with a total of five Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which are equipped with French Ariel engines. Eleven passengers can be seated on each flight. Although it is not required in the Netherlands, our planes are equipped with a so-called IHUMS monitoring system. This system, developed in co-operation with Bristow, carries out continuous measurements at approximately 40 different positions. Among other things, it registers the vibrations in the engines, the gearbox and the propulsion of the rotors. The helicopters also have cameras on board which register the rotation of both the main engine and the tail engine blades. Everything is recorded with precision and can be printed out after the flight. The purpose of this record-keeping is to trace dangerous defects at a very early stage. This monitoring system is mandatory in England. Our helicopters are also equipped with a warning system for flying too low and with a special warning beacon should the aircraft end up in the sea for whatever reason."
"In due time, we intend to expand our staff at Den Helder Airport to 24 employees, including 14 pilots and 10 engineers. When we arrived here, the Royal Netherlands Navy gave us an extensive briefing on the proper flight routes to and from the airport and on the noise-sensitive areas. It quickly became apparent that Den Helder Airport has excellent facilities. There's a radar, an ILS system and much more. It's a very professional airport. We've signed contracts with Skyline, Schreiner and Peterson to assist us in our work. I hadn't been to the Netherlands for 30 years, and I had a lot to get used to in the beginning. There have been a lot of changes over the years, but the people are friendly and helpful and there is a very pleasant work atmosphere."
Open Day a success once again
This year, once again, the Open Day was visited by several thousand spectators. Excellent weather conditions certainly contributed to the successful event on Sunday, 26 July. Unfortunately, a number of aircraft arrived at Den Helder Airport later than expected due to a delay caused by an English flying show. The Open Day organisation will do its utmost to ensure that this problem is not repeated the next time. Given the many positive reactions preceding the Beach Spectacle, a similar event will most certainly be organised next year.
News in brief
The official opening of the new regional office of the Chamber of Commerce took place on 16 September. Access roads to the airport were decorated with nearly 200 business flags in honour of this event, which was attended by a large number of invited guests. The new office is located on the ground floor of the airport building, to the left of the entrance. There are three employees – Jacco IJsselstein, Frank Zijp and Maruschka Kluft.
In addition to other important information about the airport, Den Helder Airport has recently started to put its newsletters on its own Internet site. The address is: www.den-helder-airport.nl. If you have any further questions after reading the newsletter, you can send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also direct any remarks or suggestions in the recently created visitors' book that can be found at the same site.
In co-operation with Schreiner Northsea Helicopters and Biardo Survivalsuits, Den Helder Airport will be represented with its own stand at the specialised fair Oil-, Gas- & PetroTech 98 (formerly Holland Offshore), which in November will be held in the Amstelhal of RAI Amsterdam. The stand is part of a large Den Helder presentation.
The 17-year-old World and European junior judo champion, Edith Bosch, has recently been proclaimed "talent of the '97/'98 season" by the Judo League Nederland. For her excellent and consistent achievements during the past judo season she received recognition in the form of the Judo Award in Helmond. Edith, who is a member of the judo association De Uitkomst in Anna Paulowna, is also working in the Netherlands and abroad on name recognition for Den Helder Airport. She has signed a sponsor contract with the airport for this purpose.
Euro-Enaer on sales tour
According to a Euro-Enaer spokesman, the test flights with the new two-seater Eaglet have gone well. "We are now allowed to fly with two people to show the new aircraft to potential customers. We've already made a number of flights with serious prospective buyers.
We also went to the Farnborough Airshow in England. There is a lot of interest in the Eaglet, particularly in the Netherlands, England, Mexico and Israel. The certification of the aircraft will be completed in June of next year. Before then we need to carry out a number of test flights with the first aircraft that we would like to sell. Construction of the parts for this aircraft was recently begun in Chile. We are expecting the parts in the Netherlands in March of next year, after which assembly will be performed at Den Helder Airport. This will take place in the Schreiner hangars, which we will move into at the beginning of December. All in all, we're running on schedule and hope to deliver the first Eaglets by mid-1999.
Peterson offers complete package of logistic services
"As a provider of logistics services we have undergone significant growth at Den Helder Airport. We are active here for the oil companies, offshore contractors and the suppliers", Manager Timo Beerepoot of Peterson Den Helder explains. "Bristow Helicopters, which just recently settled in at the airport, also makes use of our company's expertise."
Rob Tompot was present at the start of the Peterson branch in Den Helder. He has been setting up transportation services between this seaport, IJmuiden, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth since 1980. "In those days", says Tompot, who is now Managing Director of the entire Peterson Offshore Group, "we targeted general forwarding, particularly for the offshore industry. Later countless other logistic activities were incorporated."
"In 1985", Beerepoot adds, "we also started at Den Helder Airport. Placid was our first customer, and NAM followed several years later. At first we only registered the helicopter flights for this company, but
later we also took on freight handling and customs formalities.
At the present time, however, we can offer our customers a complete package of logistic services, including hiring helicopters, planning helicopter flights and supervising passengers. Our package is very broad and diverse. Six people now work for us at the airport in two shifts. They are already at the airport an hour before opening time to receive freight, among other things. After the last helicopter has come in, our people prepare the programme for the following day."
"If you include our branch on the Nijverheidsweg", Tompot continues, "Peterson Den Helder employs twelve people. The company, which is also active in 21 other countries, has a total of 450 employees. Peterson began some 77 years ago in Rotterdam for the quality and quantity inspection of grains, cattle feed and coal. Peterson is currently the largest ship broker of all shipping agencies in the Netherlands. Our office on the
Nijverheidsweg in Den Helder will soon be relocated to the Paleiskade, where we will have a new office and storage areas."
"More and more companies", Beerepoot adds, "have Peterson serving as their representative. This particularly applies to companies which are located far away or abroad. We then do our utmost to promote their interests and we continually strive for excellence. We are now working on concentrating all our planning activities at the airport. This would enable us to offer a total package of services to our customers from the airport."
"I predict", Tompot concludes, "that Den Helder Airport will soon consist of one central planning centre for all helicopter flights on the Dutch continental shelf. A centre that will be managed by a neutral operator. We would very much like to be that operator. We are already working hard to prepare for this behind the scenes."
Den Helder Airport wonderful operation
The airport is an asset for Den Helder and of great importance in providing a lot of new employment, explains Mrs D.C.A. van der Pluijm-Noordergraaf, secretary of the neighbourhood committee De Schooten-Oost and a faithful reader of this newsletter, which she values.
The neighbourhood committee De Schooten-Oost is one of the eight Den Helder committees which functions as a kind of intermediary between the renters and the Housing Foundation, the owner of the homes. "Our committee, which was founded twelve years ago, has had the same structure for the past eight years. I've been on the board for eight years, four years as treasurer and now four years as secretary. The board, which is chosen every four years by the renters, is composed of five individuals. Meetings are held once a month and we organise an annual public meeting. The work is very rewarding.
I see the neighbourhood committee De Schooten-Oost as a kind of intermediary between the renters and the Housing Foundation.
Our most important tasks are mediation and referral to the right people. And sometimes we do even more if people encounter major problems and can no longer be helped by the Housing Foundation."
People in our neighbourhood have few problems with Den Helder Airport, particularly the civilian part. We're actually under the impression that every effort is made to avoid burdening the neighbourhood. I personally think the airport is a wonderful operation, but I'm also very aeroplane-minded. I recently attended an Open Day and I was extremely surprised by the enormous growth, which I don't see as a matter of great concern. I think we need that growth. Increased employment is important, particularly for Den Helder. Certainly now that employment is on the decline at Defence.
I was always pleased to see how the previous councilman, Mr E.E. Kip, did everything in his power to promote the airport far and wide.
As a resident, I've never had any trouble from the airport. Even in the past when the helicopters took off close by, from the old municipal airport. It was a beautiful sight to see the helicopter fly by. As far as I'm concerned, the developments at the airport may simply continue. I see aeroplane construction as an asset. And I find the Den Helder Airport newsletters very informative. We always enjoy reading them. It might be a good idea to distribute the newsletter door-to-door in De Schooten. I think the residents would greatly appreciate it", says the 61-year-old neighbourhood committee secretary who clearly has a warm spot for the airport.
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Our latest issue of Airmail is now available online.
In the first edition of Airmail tis year we have introduced our readers to Nick Waterdrinker (Business Development Manager Offshore Wind) who wrote about his research on the future of Den Helder Airport and the wind energy sector. In this edition he writes about the latest developments and how Den Helder Airport is working on setting up a consortium, together with involved companies from the supply chain.
The Airmail May edition with news of NWEA Chairman Hans Timmer about the construction of offshore windfarms in the years to come, Regional Director Ron van der Laan about platform decommissioning, Kees Visser about drones and the future and Jacques de Waal about Kooijpunt Business Association