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AIM 

6/17/21 

(b)  Oil Field Supervisors 

(1) 

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. 

(2) 

Notify nearby helicopter operators and 

bases of the hazard and advise when hazard is cleared. 

(3) 

Provide a safety briefing to include 

location of protective equipment to all arriving 
personnel. 

(4) 

Wind socks or indicator should be 

clearly visible to provide upwind indication for the 
pilot. 

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 

(a) 

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 
boom. 

(b) 

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 

(a) 

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 
helideck. 

(b) 

Notify nearby helicopter operators and 

bases of the hazard for planned operations. 

(c) 

Wind socks or indicator should be clearly 

visible to provide upward indication for the pilot. 

i. Helideck/Heliport Operational Warn-

ing(s)/Procedure(s) 

 Closed Helidecks or 

Heliports 

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 
recommended. 

(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. 

NOTE

 

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

2

2.) 

10

2

Special Operations