The biggest single change that takes place with the introduction of helicopters is a complete change in operating philosophy. Planning vessel movements becomes a priority. The ability for planners to be able to quickly lift a pilot to a vessel ready to sail while also calling the next on that berth to lift anchor and get under way becomes possible with a single marine pilot. Generally speaking a planner can respond to any pilot demand within six to eight minutes.
Tug boat crews have to ‘pull their socks up’ as vessels arrive and depart quickly. On the other hand the pilot’s wardroom becomes a more relaxed place.
The dangers associated with boarding/disembarking are removed, the dangers associated with pilot cars are removed, transfers are relaxed. No more gang planks and no more time wasted doing nothing. With the helicopter and good pilot planning, the next weakest link in the harbours service delivery chain will inevitably be exposed.
Acher Aviation is a pioneer in the specific application of helicopters in the harbour environment.
Primarily driven by the safe, cost effective and quick carriage of marine pilots 24 hours per day to and from vessels at sea, services are also provided in support of harbour operations providing an almost instant response to most requirements.