The HELICOPTER SAFETY ADVISORY CONFERENCE (HSAC) was formed in January, 1978 after an accident in which 19 people lost their lives when a helicopter came in contact with a platform crane.
Realizing there was a lack of communication between oil companies, service organizations, helicopter operations, and the helicopter industry, representatives of these companies agreed to work toward improved safety offshore. The HSAC continues to identify critical issues that affect safety in the Gulf of Mexico. Through interaction of HSAC subcommittees and associated responsible organizations, HSAC has been, and continues to be, proactive in resolving issues of interest to the industry.
The HSAC, through its pledge of "Safety through Cooperation", has made significant contributions to improved communication and safe practices within the offshore community. Its efforts have been recognized both nationally and internationally.
The HSAC has grown to more than 115 members representing major petroleum companies, drilling companies, helicopter operators, oil industry service companies, and helicopter manufacturers. Numerous federal agencies and every branch of the Armed Forces participate in the HSAC. Included in these are the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Department of the Interior, Customs, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The HSAC is a conference and is not incorporated or organized to be a spokesman for the industry. Members are volunteers sharing a common goal, namely:
In summary, the HSAC and its members have improved offshore flight safety through persistent and knowledgeable communications with industry and government agencies, and with the mutual support and cooperation of other professional organizations, such as Helicopter Association International (HAI), American Petroleum Institute (API), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Offshore Operators Committee (OOC), and others. Contributions to the improvement of flight safety offshore in the Gulf of Mexico continue through the active involvement of the various HSAC committees.