RECOMMENDATION ON HELICOPTER LANDING AREAS ON RO-RO PASSENGER SHIPS
This recommendation should apply to helicopter landing areas fitted on ro-ro passenger ships of 130 m in length and upwards, constructed on or after 1 July 1999, as required by SOLAS regulation III/28.2.
1.2.1 "Helicopter landing area" means an area on a ship designed for emergency landing of helicopters.
1.2.2 "Diameter (d)" means the overall length of the helicopter with the rotors turning. The maximum value of "d" will depend on the type and size of the helicopter. This should be agreed by the Administration taking into account the particulars of the ship and its area of operation.
1.3 Positioning of landing area
1.3.1 Helicopter landing areas should be located on an upper deck. The landing areas should consist of an outer manoeuvering zone and a clear zone. It is important that, whenever possible, the clear zone should be close to the ship's side.
1.3.2 The first requirement is to identify a location where there is clear access to the operating area and the exit to the ship's side.
1.3.3 Once that location has been identified, the second requirement is to establish the best position within the area for the manoeuvering zone that will give the largest clear zone.
2.2 Details of landing area
2.2.1 Landing area at ship's side Landing areas should be as large as possible and set out to provide safe access for helicopters from the ship's side. Due account must be taken of possible helicopter slippage and wind and ship movement. Where the boundary of the clear zone is close to or in line with the ship's side, and where the height of fixed obstructions so permits (see 2.2.7 below), helicopter safety will be improved by extending the clear and manoeuvering zones to the ship's side symmetrically, thereby widening the approach to the landing area (see figure 1). This extended landing area at the ship's side is therefore the preferred operating area.
Figure 1: Landing area at the ship's side
2.2.2 Landing area without unobstructed access from ship's side
Where it is not possible to provide an operating area with clear access from the ship's side, the landing area should be set out as shown in figure 2 and, if practicable, placed on the ship's centerline.
Figure 2: Landing area without unobstructed access from ship's side
2.2.3 Dimensions of landing area
In establishing a landing area, it is essential to ensure a safe correlation between:
.1 the dimensions of the aiming circle, clear zone and manoeuvering zone and the maximum permitted height of obstructions in these zones; and
.2 the sizes of helicopters expected to use the facility.
In particular, the clear zone of the landing area should be as large as practicable. Its diameter D should be not less than the overall length of a helicopter (with its rotors turning) (d) which may use it. Other dimensions of the landing area should be in proportion to the diameter of the clear zone, as illustrated in figures 1 and 2.
2.2.4 Aiming circle (Touch down zone)
18.104.22.168 The aiming circle is an area concentric to the centre of the clear zone and has a diameter half that of the clear zone itself. A circle of some 10 m diameter is required for the aiming circle of a landing area suitable for the larger helicopters in normal marine use. The circle should accommodate with safety the landing gear of helicopters for which it is intended and should therefore, if possible, be completely obstruction-free.
If there are unavoidable obstructions, they should have rounded edges capable of being traversed without damaging the landing gear of a helicopter, and should be no higher than 0.1 m.
22.214.171.124 The aiming circle should be completely covered with a matt anti-slip surface painted in a dark non-reflecting color which contrasts with the other deck surfaces. Its circumference should be marked with a yellow line 0.2 m wide, with the diameter in metres of the aiming circle clearly indicated in white figures at four points in the circumference line as shown in figures 1 and 2.
126.96.36.199 The letter 'H' should be painted at the centre of the aiming circle in 0.4 m wide white lines forming a letter of dimensions 3.6 x 1.8 m.
2.2.5 Clear zone
188.8.131.52 The diameter of the clear zone will depend upon the available landing area. The clear zone should however be as large as practicable recognizing that its diameter D must be greater than the overall length, with rotors turning, of a helicopter able to use the landing area (d). Where the landing area is at the ship's side safe helicopter access will be enhanced by widening, where possible, the boundaries of the obstacle-free clear zone at the ship's side to a dimension of at least 1.5D (see figure 1). The circumference of the clear zone should be marked by a yellow line of 0.2 m width, with the diameter D in metres indicated in white figures at points in the circumference line as shown in figures 1 and 2.
184.108.40.206 There should be no fixed obstructions in the clear zone higher than 0.25 m.
2.2.6 Manoeuvering zone
220.127.116.11 The manoeuvering zone of the landing area extends the area in which a helicopter may manoeuvre with safety by enlarging, to a diameter of at least 1.3D, the area over which the rotors of the helicopter may overhang without danger from high obstructions. When the landing area is at the ship's side, safe helicopter access will be enhanced by widening, where possible, the boundaries of the obstruction-free manoeuvering zone at the ship's side to a dimension of at least 2D (see figure 1).
18.104.22.168 If it is impossible to remove all obstructions from the manoeuvering zone, a graduated increase in the permitted height of obstructions, from 0.25 m at the circumference of the clear zone to a maximum of 1.25 m at the circumference of the manoeuvering zone, is acceptable. However, such height above 0.25 m should not exceed a ratio of one to two in relation to the horizontal distance of the obstruction from the edge of the clear zone (see figure 3). So, for example, an obstruction of 1 m in height (0.75 m more than the maximum obstruction height in the clear zone) should be at least 1.5 m outside the circumference of the clear zone. All obstructions in the manoeuvering zone should be clearly marked in contrasting colors.
Figure 3: Landing area - permitted height of obstructions (elevation)
22.214.171.124 To assist the helicopter pilot in his positioning, the circumference of the manoeuvering zone should be indicated by a broken yellow line of 0.2 m width (see figures 1 and 2).
2.2.7 Use of landing areas for other purposes It is considered that helicopter landing areas may be used for other purposes in normal circumstances. In the event of need, it should be possible to clear this area readily.
3 Night operations: Lighting
The following general remarks apply in all cases:
.1 lighting should be arranged so as to illuminate the operating area and should not be directed towards the helicopter; and
.2 a wind pennant or flag should be illuminated.
4 Fire-fighting appliances and rescue equipment
Where helicopters land or conduct winching operations on an occasional or emergency basis on ships with helicopter landing areas, equipment fitted in accordance with SOLAS chapter II-2 may be used. This equipment should be made readily available in close proximity to the landing or winching areas during helicopter operations, and should include the following:
.1 at least two dry powder extinguishers having a total capacity of not less than 45 Kg;
.2 carbon dioxide extinguishers of a total capacity of not less than 18 Kg or equivalent;
.3 a suitable foam application system consisting of monitors or foam making branch pipes capable of delivering foam to all parts of the helicopter landing area;
.4 at least two nozzles of an approved dual-purpose type (jet/spray) and hoses of sufficient length to reach any part of the helicopter landing area;
.5 two sets of fireman's outfits; and
.6 in addition, at least the following equipment:
.1 adjustable wrench;
.2 blanket (fire resistant);
.3 cutters, bolt 60 cm;
.4 hook, grab or salving;
.5 hacksaw, heavy duty complete with 6 spare blades;
.7 life line 5 mm diameter x 15 m in length;
.8 pliers, side cutting;
.9 set of assorted screwdrivers; and
.10 harness knife complete with sheath.