Tel: 1-800-235-2452 Ext 4400

Safety Through Cooperation - Since 1978

HSAC Pledges

  • To communicate safety-related issues
  • To recommend procedures and safety initiatives
  • To facilitate communication between the various governmental agencies and the industry
  • To develop recommended procedures and guidelines to support offshore flight operations
  • To be pro-active in resolving issues of interest to the industry

History of HSAC

The HELICOPTER SAFETY ADVISORY CONFERENCE (HSAC) was formed in January, 1978 after an accident in which 19 people lost their lives when a helicopter came in contact with a platform crane.

Realizing there was a lack of communication between oil companies, service organizations, helicopter operations, and the helicopter industry, representatives of these companies agreed to work toward improved safety offshore. The HSAC continues to identify critical issues that affect safety in the Gulf of Mexico. Through interaction of HSAC subcommittees and associated responsible organizations, HSAC has been, and continues to be, proactive in resolving issues of interest to the industry.

The HSAC, through its pledge of "Safety through Cooperation", has made significant contributions to improved communication and safe practices within the offshore community. Its efforts have been recognized both nationally and internationally.

The HSAC has grown to more than 115 members representing major petroleum companies, drilling companies, helicopter operators, oil industry service companies, and helicopter manufacturers. Numerous federal agencies and every branch of the Armed Forces participate in the HSAC. Included in these are the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Department of the Interior, Customs, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The HSAC is a conference and is not incorporated or organized to be a spokesman for the industry. Members are volunteers sharing a common goal, namely:


Revision 1-18-03
Improving offshore flight safety through persistent and knowledgeable communications

In summary, the HSAC and its members have improved offshore flight safety through persistent and knowledgeable communications with industry and government agencies, and with the mutual support and cooperation of other professional organizations, such as Helicopter Association International (HAI), American Petroleum Institute (API), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Offshore Operators Committee (OOC), and others. Contributions to the improvement of flight safety offshore in the Gulf of Mexico continue through the active involvement of the various HSAC committees.

HSAC Accomplishments

  • "Offshore Heliport Design Guide" developed and maintained with the support of the State of Louisiana.
  • Offshore Gulf of Mexico sectional charts developed and maintained in cooperation with the FAA.
  • In cooperation with the FAA, the Offshore Operation Task Force Committee:
    • Increased Flight Service Station facilities and services
    • Established procedures for handling IFR flights offshore, and improved coordination of instrument operations
    • Developed plans for improved communication and navigation aids offshore
    • Improved weather reporting
    • Established Loran C and radar as the primary navigation aids offshore
    • Revised Instrument Flight Rule routes to cover most areas
    • Improved weather forecasting through implementation of the National Weather Service Supplemental Aviation Weather Reporting Stations (SAWRS)
  • The Base Area Agreement/Air Traffic Control Committee established terminal flight procedures for congested areas in both on- and offshore areas off the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama.
  • The Military Liaison Committee in cooperation with Department of Defense organizations:
    • Coordinated the Air Force abandonment of an air route in a heavily congested area
    • Opened dialog with various federal agencies to resolve intercept concerns
  • Recommended Practices (RPs) published for:
    • Passenger Management On and About Heliports" to improve passenger safety
    • "Crane-Helicopter Operational Procedures" to minimize risks on helidecks during crane and helicopter operations
    • "Helicopter-Tanker Operations" to provide guidance for safe helicopter operations on and around tankers
  • Offshore fish spotter briefings and reports.
  • Passenger briefing film, developed as a general indoctrination film for all operations.
  • Preflight briefing cards. Pilot Information and Frequency Cards.
  • The Houston Heliport Task Force Committee assisted in improving procedures for flight in urban environments.

Revision 1-18-03