During the European Maritime Day in Den Helder, Den Helder Airport (DHA) presented the report on the impact of helicopters and ships in the maintenance of Dutch offshore wind farms to outgoing Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. The report is a direct result of the repositioning of the offshore airport within the context of energy transition, sustainability of the aviation sector and the development of the maritime cluster in North Holland North.
After 50 years of offshore aviation for the oil and gas industry from DHA, the current energy transition represents a major turnaround for the airport in Den Helder. The airport is working on a new business model for providing services to the offshore wind programmes. In doing so, it is seeking to broaden its horizons and work in synergy with current national projects and ambitions (North Sea Agreement, Defence Policy Document, Aviation Policy Document, Airspace Review, sustainability tasks, climate legislation, etc.). DHA wants to anticipate these developments optimally.
Development offshore energy market
In order to gain more knowledge about the expected aviation for all offshore modalities between 2030 and 2050, the international research agency To70 conducted an impact study on behalf of DHA. The conclusions show, among others, that the development of an efficient logistics chain is not yet a matter of fact. A great deal of knowledge, customisation and, above all, cooperation are required to maintain the Dutch vital energy sector in the North Sea economically.
6 European offshore centres to remain over time
It is also to be expected that, as a result of the transition to offshore wind energy, in time approximately six European offshore centres will remain around the North Sea. According to the market, DHA has a number of strengths to claim a solid role in these centres.
“Besides consolidating our position offshore, we also see opportunities in the cooperation with the Navy (drones), the sustainability of the port and airport (hydrogen development) and a strategic embedding in the Maritime Cluster of Den Helder”, according to a spokesperson.
Presentation to outgoing minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
DHA asked the minister for a clear government decision to centralise offshore aviation in Den Helder in order to consolidate the Dutch position for offshore aviation. The experience of 50 years of Dutch offshore aviation and specialised employment in North Holland will thereby be preserved for an important contribution to the realisation of the Dutch climate ambition.
Den Helder Airport is equipped for the future with all the facilities of an international airport. There is air traffic control, 1.3 kilometres of ILS runway, 12 parking spots, 5 hangars, passenger and baggage control systems, terminal building, check-in counters, handling agents, security, immigration, customs, underground fuel bunkers and secured parking areas. Due to the effect of the climate agreements, the energy system in the Netherlands and the rest of the world will change dramatically towards 2050. The modern offshore helicopter has proven to be clean, safe and extremely efficient and will always be a logical, but also sustainable choice for transporting technicians and small cargo.
Next steps will strive for a larger joint industry project
A large group of stakeholders have contributed to the report in sharing their vision and expectation on the operations and maintenance challenges of the future offshore renewable industry. Den Helder Airport will keep this momentum ongoing by organizing a broad stakeholder conference discussing next steps. Source: DHA Background image: Borssele III & IV. Source: Blauwwind