The safety of helicopter flight operations can be seriously degraded by environmental effects that may be present around installations or vessels and their helidecks. The term "environmental effects" is used torepresent the effects of the installation or vessel and/or its systems and/or processes on the surrounding environment, which result in a degraded local environment in which the helicopter is expected to operate. These environmental effects are typified by structure-induced turbulence, turbulence and thermal effects caused by gas turbine exhausts, thermal effects of flares and diesel exhaust emissions, and unburnt hydrocarbon gas emissions from cold flaring or, more particularly, emergency blowdown systems.
It is almost inevitable that helidecks installed on the cramped topsides of offshore installations will suffer to some degree from one or more of these environmental effects, and controls in the form of operational restrictions may be necessary in some cases. Such restrictions can be minimised by careful attention to the design and layout of the installation topsides and, in particular, the location of the helideck.
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