New NHV Heliport Under Construction in Aberdeen
At a time of low oil price it might be surprising to hear that a new heliport is being constructed at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland, but that is what is currently happening.
We have previously reported that they lodged a planning application with Aberdeen City Council in January 2015 for a facility on the Pitmedden Industrial Estate adjoining the Eastern airfield boundary at the Artic House industrial unit on Kirkton Drive, since vacated by Reel Group, who have moved to larger premises.
While currently landside, that site is alongside 130m of the current boundary fence adjacent to Taxiway Echo, near the airport compass base. The plans show the boundary being relocated to give apron space on the airfield.
Fully detailed plans can be found on the ACC Planning Department website.
At the time of the planning application it was stated that the facility was being designed for the operation of 4 helicopters (“anticipated” to be Airbus Helicopters EC175s, the first of the new super mediums to enter service).
Architects for that project are Halliday Fraser Munro. Their plans include a 2400m² two bay hangar and a two 900m² storey office / passenger terminal extending into the yard of the original industrial unit. One hangar bay uses the existing building and contains engineering offices and stores at the rear. The other bay is new. Both feature 18m wide, 5.5m high doors. The H175 has a 15m rotor diameter.
Construction company MTM Construction is currently working on the site.
The site matches the planning application for the hangar, with an unrestricted bay in the new building facing the airfield. The area for the office / passenger terminal element is currently untouched.
Some sources have suggested that NHV have a contract starting 1 January 2016, however there is no other public domain confirmation.
UPDATE 13 December 2015: The new hangar is almost fully clad, although work has not started on erecting the passenger terminal.
Ground works on the new apron are underway. A sign in the car part confirms the intended occupants:
UPDATE 14 December 2015: Rotorhub reports that NHV “plans to begin operating under fresh branding from 17 December 2015 to help raise its visibility in the market.”
UPDATE 18 December 2015: NHV launch a rebranding and confirm the Aberdeen operation is to commence on 1 Jan 2016 with 2 H175s for Chevron. This will be the first time that there has been 4 operators in Aberdeen since British Caledonian Helicopters were purchased by Bristow in the 1980s.
UPDATE 10 January 2016: A month since our last photographs there has been little visible progress. One hangar bay remains to be handed over and ground works continue on the terminal, necessitating the temporary use of alternative facilities.
UPDATE 26 February 2016: Construction of the passenger terminal is just visible in this aerial photograph.
UPDATE 4 March 2016: Rapid progress over the last 7 weeks is now evident.
UPDATE 2 April 2016: The terminal has progressed but is still WIP.
UPDATE 8 May 2016: The terminal walls are almost complete.
UPDATE 26 July 2016: Energy Voice reports that the passenger terminal, the last part of the £14 million facility investment, will be open within weeks.
In addition to the five-year deal with Chevron to carry employees to the Alba, Captain and Erskine fields, NHV has been providing services to Wood Group on an “ad hoc” basis.
…NHV’s use of Airbus H175s was a big “selling point”…
NHV expects to raise the number of H175s it has stationed in Aberdeen from two to four or five by the end of the year and increase the number of staff members it employs in the north-east.
NHV…has a workforce of 25 in Aberdeen, of whom nine are pilots, eight are engineers and the rest are administrative or passenger handling staff.
It is now looking to recruit about two apprentices…its first in the UK.
UPDATE 18 August 2016: Completion of the terminal is close and a noise deflector has been fitted between the three new helicopter ‘spots’ and the outside road.
“Our new facilities in Aberdeen are very important for NHV to enable the company to serve its existing and future customers in one of the most strategic helicopter hubs of the industry. It will also allow us to strengthen our position in the UK market,” says Eric Van Hal.
UPDATE 7 August 2018: NHV Group taking flight and winning the contracts
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This article is based completely on public domain information.