Regulation 18 - Helicopter facilities
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Regulation 18 - Helicopter facilities

1 Purpose

 The purpose of this regulation is to provide additional measures in order to address the fire safety objectives of this chapter for ships fitted with special facilities for helicopters. For this purpose, the following functional requirements shall be met:

  • .1 helideck structure must be adequate to protect the ship from the fire hazards associated with helicopter operations;

  • .2 fire-fighting appliances shall be provided to adequately protect the ship from the fire hazards associated with helicopter operations;

  • .3 refuelling and hangar facilities and operations shall provide the necessary measures to protect the ship from the fire hazards associated with helicopter operations; and

  • .4 operation manuals and training shall be provided.

2 Application

  2.1 In addition to complying with the requirements of regulations in parts B, C, D and E, as appropriate, ships equipped with helidecks shall comply with the requirements of this regulation.

  2.2 Where helicopters land or conduct winching operations on an occasional or emergency basis on ships without helidecks, fire-fighting equipment fitted in accordance with the requirements in Part C may be used. This equipment shall be made readily available in close proximity to the landing or winching areas during helicopter operations.

  2.3 Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph 2.2 above, ships constructed on or after 1 January 2020, having a helicopter landing area, shall be provided with foam firefighting appliances which comply with the relevant provisions of chapter 17 of the Fire Safety Systems Code.

  2.4 Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph 2.2 or 2.3 above, ro-ro passenger ships without helidecks shall comply with regulation III/28.

3 Structure

  3.1 Construction of steel or other equivalent material

 In general, the construction of the helidecks shall be of steel or other equivalent materials. If the helideck forms the deckhead of a deckhouse or superstructure, it shall be insulated to "A-60" class standard.

  3.2 Construction of aluminium or other low melting point metals

 If the Administration permits aluminium or other low melting point metal construction that is not made equivalent to steel, the following provisions shall be satisfied:

  • .1 if the platform is cantilevered over the side of the ship, after each fire on the ship or on the platform, the platform shall undergo a structural analysis to determine its suitability for further use; and

  • .2 if the platform is located above the ship's deckhouse or similar structure, the following conditions shall be satisfied:

  • .2.1 the deckhouse top and bulkheads under the platform shall have no openings;

  • .2.2 windows under the platform shall be provided with steel shutters; and

  • .2.3 after each fire on the platform or in close proximity, the platform shall undergo a structural analysis to determine its suitability for further use.

4 Means of escape

  A helideck shall be provided with both a main and an emergency means of escape and access for fire fighting and rescue personnel. These shall be located as far apart from each other as is practicable and preferably on opposite sides of the helideck.

5 Fire-fighting appliances

  5.1 In close proximity to the helideck, the following fire-fighting appliances shall be provided and stored near the means of access to that helideck:

  • .1 at least two dry powder extinguishers having a total capacity of not less than 45 kgfootnote;

  • .2 carbon dioxide extinguishers of a total capacity of not less than 18 kg or equivalentfootnote;

  • .3 a suitable foam application system consisting of monitors or foam making branch pipes capable of delivering foam to all parts of the helideck in all weather conditions in which helicopters can operate. The system shall be capable of delivering a discharge rate as required in table 18.1 for at least five minutes;

  • .4 the principal agent shall be suitable for use with salt water and conform to performance standards not inferior to those acceptable to the Organization;footnote.

  • .5 at least two nozzles of an approved dual-purpose type (jet/spray) and hoses sufficient to reach any part of the helideck;

  • .6 in lieu of the requirements of paragraphs 5.1.3 through 5.1.5, on ships constructed on or after 1 January 2020 having a helideck, foam firefighting appliances which comply with the provisions of the Fire Safety Systems Code.

  • .7 in addition to the requirements of regulation 10.10, two sets of fire-fighter's outfits; and

  • .8 at least the following equipment shall be stored in a manner that provides for immediate use and protection from the elements:

    • .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;

    • .6 ladder;

    • .7 lift line 5 mm diameter ◊ 15 m in length;

    • .8 pliers, side-cutting;

    • .9 set of assorted screwdrivers; and

    • .10 harness knife complete with sheath.

Table 18.1 Foam discharge rates

Category Helicopter overall length Discharge rate foam solution (l /min)
H1 up to but not including 15m 250
H2 from 15m up to but not including 24m 500
H3 from 24m up to but not including 35m 800

6 Drainage facilities

 Drainage facilities in way of helidecks shall be constructed of steel and shall lead directly overboard independent of any other system and shall be designed so that drainage does not fall onto any part of the ship.

7 Helicopter refuelling and hangar facilities

 Where the ship has helicopter refuelling and hangar facilities, the following requirements shall be complied with:

  • .1 a designated area shall be provided for the storage of fuel tanks which shall be:

    • .1.1 as remote as is practicable from accommodation spaces, escape routes and embarkation stations; and

    • .1.2 isolated from areas containing a source of vapour ignition;

  • .2 the fuel storage area shall be provided with arrangements whereby fuel spillage may be collected and drained to a safe location;

  • .3 tanks and associated equipment shall be protected against physical damage and from a fire in an adjacent space or area;

  • .4 where portable fuel storage tanks are used, special attention shall be given to:

    • .4.1 design of the tank for its intended purpose;

    • .4.2 mounting and securing arrangements;

    • .4.3 electric bonding; and

    • .4.4 inspection procedures;

  • .5 storage tank fuel pumps shall be provided with means which permit shutdown from a safe remote location in the event of a fire. Where a gravity fuelling system is installed, equivalent closing arrangements shall be provided to isolate the fuel source;

  • .6 the fuel pumping unit shall be connected to one tank at a time. The piping between the tank and the pumping unit shall be of steel or equivalent material, as short as possible, and protected against damage;

  • .7 electrical fuel pumping units and associated control equipment shall be of a type suitable for the location and potential hazards;

  • .8 fuel pumping units shall incorporate a device which will prevent over-pressurization of the delivery or filling hose;

  • .9 equipment used in refuelling operations shall be electrically bonded;

  • .10 "NO SMOKING" signs shall be displayed at appropriate locations;

  • .11 hangar, refuelling and maintenance facilities shall be treated as category ĎA' machinery spaces with regard to structural fire protection, fixed fire-extinguishing and detection system requirements;

  • .12 enclosed hangar facilities or enclosed spaces containing refuelling installations shall be provided with mechanical ventilation, as required by regulation 20.3 for closed ro-ro spaces of cargo ships. Ventilation fans shall be of non-sparking type; and

  • .13 electric equipment and wiring in enclosed hangar or enclosed spaces containing refuelling installations shall comply with regulations 20.3.2, 20.3.3 and 20.3.4.

8 Operations manual and fire-fighting service

  8.1 Each helicopter facility shall have an operations manual, including a description and a checklist of safety precautions, procedures and equipment requirements. This manual may be part of the ship's emergency response procedures.

  8.2 The procedures and precautions to be followed during refuelling operations shall be in accordance with recognized safe practices and contained in the operations manual.

  8.3 Fire-fighting personnel, consisting of at least two persons trained for rescue and fire-fighting duties, and fire-fighting equipment shall be immediately available at all times when helicopter operations are expected.

  8.4 Fire-fighting personnel shall be present during refuelling operations. However, the fire-fighting personnel shall not be involved with refuelling activities.

  8.5 On-board refresher training shall be carried out and additional supplies of fire-fighting media shall be provided for training and testing of the equipment.

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