MSC / Circ.907
17 June 1999
1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its seventieth session (7 to 11 December 1998), noted that regulation III/28.2 of the 1996 SOLAS amendments, which entered into force on 1 July 1998, requires: "Passenger ships of 130 m in length and upwards, constructed on or after 1 July 1999, shall be fitted with a helicopter landing area approved by the Administration having regard to the recommendations adopted by the Organization."
2 In the light of further consideration of the above amendments based on two Formal Safety Assessment studies, which concluded that the requirement for helicopter landing areas on these ships could not be justified in terms of cost effectiveness of the measure in reducing risk, the Committee agreed that these amendments should be repealed for non ro-ro passenger ships.
3 Accordingly, the Committee, at its seventy-first session (19 to 28 May 1999), approved a draft amendment to regulation III/28.2 to require a helicopter landing area only for ro-ro passenger ships. This amendment is expected to be adopted at the seventy-second session of the Committee in May 2000 and enter into force on 1 January 2002.
4 In approving the amendment, the Committee recognized that non ro-ro passenger ships of i
30m in length and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 1999 will still be required to be fitted with helicopter landing areas until 1 January 2002. To avoid this inconsistency, the Committee recommends that:
"non ro-ro passenger ships of 130 m in length and upwards constructed on or after 1
July 1999 need not be fitted with helicopter landing areas, and this should not constitute a reason for detaining or delaying the ship".
5 The Committee invites SOLAS Contracting Governments to take account of this recommendation when surveying and certifying passenger ships under regulations I/7 and I/12 and when exercising port State control under regulation I/19 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention,