Helideck Inspections & Certification

There exist a number of guidance documents and regulations with regards to the design and operation of shipboard helidecks, so much so that it can become a confusing subject to deal with. Ultimately, a helideck on a yacht is combining maritime rules with aviation rules, and it can be difficult to understand exactly how the mesh together.

As an aviation inspection body (AIB) for yacht helidecks, Squadron inspectors will visit your yacht to conduct a comprehensive “Helideck Inspection” to determine its suitability for helicopter operations. Our inspections cover the physical characteristics of the helideck and associated facilities, as well as the human and operational aspects.

The protocols that we use for all our inspections are from a combination of ICAO Annex 14 Volume 2 and SOLAS II, as well as some additional requirements that we have ascertained to be critical to safe helicopter operations at sea.

A helideck inspection will usually take one day to complete, and the results will be presented in a formal Helideck Inspection Report.

In some circumstances, the helideck inspection may be extended to include a formal evaluation of the helideck team training that has been performed. This is conducted during a second day, with the inspector observing practical drills on the helideck to assess the competencies of the helideck team.

Republic of the Marshall Islands – Yacht Code for Commercial Yachts, Passenger Yachts and Private Yachts Limited Charter

Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) flagged yachts with helidecks require a Helicopter Landing Area Certificate (HLAC) as part of the commercial certification process as outlined in the RMI Yacht Code. The Squadron bases the issuance of an HLAC for a yacht on the findings summarized on the Helideck Inspection Report, applying operational restrictions and limitations as deemed appropriate.

We may require a Dynamic Helicopter Interfacing Trial (DHIT) to be conducted for some yachts in order to verify that the restrictions and limitations that are to be applied are both appropriate and effective. A DHIT requires series of flight profiles and deck landings to be carried out under a various controlled conditions.

An HLAC is valid for 2 years from the date of the inspection.

Who would this be suitable for?

  • Yachts with a helideck requiring commercial certification under the RMI flag
  • All privately operated yachts with a helideck seeking to ensure their helicopter operation is high quality

What is normally involved?

  • FREE first consultation to establish client’s requirements and initial feasibility of project
  • Lead inspector selected to liaise with client
  • Review of GA and specification of helideck and associated facilities, to include a report and guidance on current status
  • Helideck inspection conducted, including Training Evaluation and Dynamic Helicopter Interfacing Trials as required
  • HLAC issued to yachts under the RMI flag that have been assessed as suitable for helicopter operations