Den Helder Airport joins AYOP
Den Helder Airport recently joined the Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports association. Having serviced the offshore energy sector on the Dutch continental shelf for over 50 years, the airport has developed into the only all-round offshoot aviation centre in the Netherlands. “As Netherlands Offshore Aviation Mainport, Den Helder Airport plays an important role in facilitating offshore flights,” says director Conny van den Hoff. “This includes not only transporting staff to offshore wind farms and installations by helicopter, but also for direct flights carrying offshore personnel from various European destinations to Den Helder Airport by aircraft.”
Endowed with all the facilities of an international airport, Den Helder is ready for the future. Highlights include a traffic control centre, a 1.3-kilometre runway, 12 parking spaces, five hangars, passenger and baggage check systems, a terminal building, check-in desks, baggage handling firms, security, military police, customs, underground fuel bunkers and secure parking. The airport is also part of the vital energy infrastructure with the stringent Covid-19 procedures in place making it the only location in the Netherlands from which passengers can depart to the primary energy areas.
As the energy transition has reduced the exploration and production of oil & gas from the Southern North Sea in recent years, Den Helder Airport has developed new markets such as offshore wind. Many new wind farms will be built on the North Sea from now until 2030, and helicopters will be needed for both the construction and maintenance of these farms.
Offshore energy airbridge
In-company shuttles connect Den Helder Airport directly to the main offshore centres around the North Sea such as Emden, Esbjerg, Stavanger, Aberdeen, Humberside and Norwich. Flights to other European destinations are also an option. All this makes the airport more attractive to operators as it reduces the travel time of their offshore staff. Van den Hoff: “Partly due to our ideal location with regards to the wind, oil and gas fields situated in the central and southern parts of the North Sea, Den Helder Airport is the primary choice for the offshore industry. This is further enhanced by our efficient connection to Schiphol.”
In addition to the developments in offshore wind and the offshore energy airbridge, Den Helder Airport is working on a plan for short-stay accommodation at a walking distance from the airport. The multifunctional building will offer overnight facilities as well as places to work and meet.
Den Helder Airport is also contributing to enhanced sustainability. The terminal is heated via a heat pump and fully equipped with LED lighting. Moreover, its roof features solar panels to provide its own energy. Part of the hangars is also equipped with LED lighting, and the remainder of the original fixtures will soon be replaced by LEDs.
Den Helder Airport also accommodates various companies including AYOP members Biardo Survival Suits, CHC Helicopters, DHSS and Peterson.
Sylvia Boer, AYOP director: “Many of our members frequent Den Helder Airport. Joining our association means the lines of communication will be shortened, further enhancing efficiency and the airport’s ability to respond to requirements and developments. Let’s help complete the transformation to an offshore wind airport!”