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Helicopter service takes off in Wick.

Wick John o‘Groats Airport is seeing a high rise in passenger numbers following the boom of new oil and gas services contracts within Caithness.

A contract was agreed between Chevron North Sea Ltd and NHV Helicopters back in April for the transport of oil rig workers to and from the North Sea platforms from Wick John o’Groats Airport. Since then, Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) have reported a significant increase in airtraffic of 21.7% from the Caithness airport.

New legislation from the Civil Aviation Authority, banning helicopters from taking off in bad weather conditions, and restrictions on the number of personnel able to board the flights due to emergency access issues, forced a need for additional aircraft to be employed by North Sea helicopter firms.

Since the signing of the contract with Chevron, Belgian-based NHV have built and additional hanger at Wick, from which it operates daily.

“In many respects 2013/14 was a particularly successful year for HIAL,” said Inglis Lyon, HIAL managing director, “with record passenger numbers and a host of new or expanded routes across a number of airports. The period also saw a significant investment in new capital projects, future-proofing our airports for forecast growth.”

Information on NHV and their operations in our Oil and Gas Directory, which can be obtained from the Caithness Chamber of Commerce, or on our website: http://www.investcaithness.com/key-sectors/energy/oil-gas