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Special Operations

(b) Oil Field Supervisors


If presence of hydrogen sulfide is

detected, a red rotating beacon or red high intensity
strobe light adjacent to the primary helideck stairwell
or wind indicator on the structure should be turned on
to provide visual warning of hazard. If the beacon is
to be located near the stairwell, the State of Louisiana
“Offshore Heliport Design Guide” and FAA
Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5390

−2A, Heliport

Design Guide, should be reviewed to ensure proper
clearance on the helideck.


Notify nearby helicopter operators and

bases of the hazard and advise when hazard is cleared.


Provide a safety briefing to include

location of protective equipment to all arriving


Wind socks or indicator should be

clearly visible to provide upwind indication for the

h. Gas Venting Helideck/Heliport Operational

Hazard Warning(s)/Procedures 

− Operations

Near Gas Vent Booms

1. Background.

Ignited flare booms can re-

lease a large volume of natural gas and create a hot
fire and intense heat with little time for the pilot to
react. Likewise, unignited gas vents can release
reasonably large volumes of methane gas under
certain conditions. Thus, operations conducted very
near unignited gas vents require precautions to
prevent inadvertent ingestion of combustible gases
by the helicopter engine(s). The following practices
are recommended.

2. Pilots


Gas will drift upwards and downwind of

the vent. Plan the approach and takeoff to observe and
avoid the area downwind of the vent, remaining as far
away as practicable from the open end of the vent


Do not attempt to start or land on an

offshore helideck when the deck is downwind of a gas
vent unless properly trained personnel verify
conditions are safe.

3. Oil Field Supervisors


During venting of large amounts of

unignited raw gas, a red rotating beacon or red high
intensity strobe light adjacent to the primary helideck
stairwell or wind indicator should be turned on to
provide visible warning of hazard. If the beacon is to
be located near the stairwell, the State of Louisiana
“Offshore Heliport Design Guide” and FAA
AC 150/5390

−2A, Heliport Design Guide, should be

reviewed to ensure proper clearance from the


Notify nearby helicopter operators and

bases of the hazard for planned operations.


Wind socks or indicator should be clearly

visible to provide upward indication for the pilot.

i. Helideck/Heliport Operational Warn-


− Closed Helidecks or


1. Background.

A white “X” marked diago-

nally from corner to corner across a helideck or
heliport touchdown area is the universally accepted
visual indicator that the landing area is closed for
safety of other reasons and that helicopter operations
are not permitted. The following practices are

(a) Permanent Closing.

If a helideck or

heliport is to be permanently closed, X diagonals of
the same size and location as indicated above should
be used, but the markings should be painted on the
landing area.


White Decks: If a helideck is painted white, then
international orange or yellow markings can be used for
the temporary or permanent diagonals.

(b) Temporary Closing.

A temporary

marker can be used for hazards of an interim nature.
This marker could be made from vinyl or other
durable material in the shape of a diagonal “X.” The
marker should be white with legs at least 20 feet long
and 3 feet in width. This marker is designed to be
quickly secured and removed from the deck using
grommets and rope ties. The duration, time, location,
and nature of these temporary closings should be
provided to and coordinated with company aviation
departments, nearby helicopter bases, and helicopter
operators supporting the area. These markers MUST
be removed when the hazard no longer exists. 
(See FIG 10