The Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference is a group that represents companies that work in the American oil industry. The conference was founded in January 1978 in response to an accident in which a helicopter came into contact with an oil platform crane. Nineteen people lost their lives in the accident.
Representatives of oil companies realized that there was a lack of communication among oil companies, service organizations, helicopter operators, and the helicopter industry. The concluded that that lack of communication created safety risks and decided to work together to improve safety in the offshore oil industry.
The HSAC currently represents over 115 members, including major oil companies, drilling companies, helicopter operators, oil industry service companies, and helicopter makers. The U.S. government is also involved. The Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Department of the Interior, Customs, and the Federal Aviation Administration all participate in the conference.
The HSAC identifies issues that affect safety in the Gulf of Mexico and works proactively to address those issues. The HSAC’s pledge is “Safety through Cooperation.” It has led to significant improvements in communication and safe practices within the offshore oil industry. The HSAC has been recognized both nationally and internationally for its efforts to improve communication and safety in the offshore industry.
The HSAC has developed and maintained an offshore heliport design guide and offshore Gulf of Mexico sectional charts, increased flight service station facilities and services, and established new flight procedures. It has also improved coordination of operators and improved weather forecasting and reporting. The conference has established Loran C and radar as primary offshore navigation aids, revised Instrument Flight Rule routes, and made numerous other contributions.