As an Aviation Inspection Body our role is to ensure that aviation onboard superyachts is conducted in the safest possible manner. We operate as consultants to yacht designers and shipyards in the early stages of superyacht design, as well as attending superyachts at sea to certify their operational helidecks.

Our helideck certification work can be viewed in two distinct but overlapping areas, Design and Operations.

The Certification Process


Superyacht designs are constantly evolving with many owners now specifying a requirement for multiple helidecks. The safety implications for this are considerable as the possibility of concurrent flying operations from the same vessel throws up numerous hazards that need to be carefully addressed. We regularly work with some of the world’s most prestigious shipyards and owner’s representatives when a yacht is at the initial design stage.  This allows for our expertise in deck loading, air flow disruption and helideck location to be fully utilised which in turn ensures a smooth process in gaining the required helideck certifications for the completed yacht.

A HLATC covering the design activities will remain valid for as long as the design remains unchanged. Any design changes would require a new HLATC to be issued.

It is always important to ensure the owner’s needs and requirements have been met fully. This includes ensuring that the design team knows which helicopter the owner wants to operate on their yacht as the deck loading requirements for a H125 are significantly different to those of a H175.  If this is not accounted for then changes may have to be made to the helicopter landing area/s and this in turn can impact the overall aesthetic of the yacht and delay the completion. We are well versed in working with multiple teams to ensure that such pitfalls can be avoided, the completion can be on time and the aviation safety requirements are met.

The Certification Process


We do our best to be as responsive as possible to our clients and will fly wherever we are required to provide a helideck assessment. We have great respect for the privacy of our clients and regularly work with a Non-Disclosure Agreement in place.

Once onboard for a Helicopter Landing Area Inspection, we will follow procedure to check all the following criteria:

  • General Arrangements – including helideck dimensions, landing area markings and structural considerations
  • Helicopter Landing Area Tie Down Points
  • Helideck Friction Test
  • Perimeter Safety Net
  • Access and Egress Points
  • Firefighting, emergency equipment and procedures
  • Fire Detection and Extinguishing Arrangements
  • Visual Aids
  • Operational Data – Reporting and Recording
  • Staff HLO/HDA Training Documentation

Once the criteria for the inspection have been satisfied then a Helicopter Landing Area Inspection Report (HLAIR) and a Helicopter Landing Area Certificate (HLAC) are generated, and a thorough debrief given to the vessel’s crew.

A HLAC will cease to be valid if there is a change of yacht ownership, the name of the vessel changes or if there are significant material or equipment changes to the Helicopter Landing Area without prior consultation with the AIB.

Superyacht Madsummer at sea