OMNI-BLU Aviation Limited has partnered with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to provide  services in areas of licensing and technical supports to oil firms across the country and will provide the oil and gas sector with search and rescue services in event of emergencies.

This is just as the aviation company says it will be bringing in more aircraft, preferably three additional  AW-139 aircraft to enable it carry out its newly introduced service to the oil and gas sector.

Speaking during the flag off of the Search and Rescue (SeRAS) services at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Managing Director, Omni-Blu Aviation Capt. James Daniel, said that the company remains the only company that has been approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) to operate ambulance services, stressing that SeRAS was an extension of that capability, which the company is bringing to the table.

He said: “If an oil rig catches fire for example and you need to evacuate people from there, you have to start this with a severe risk assessment because there are risks to the lives already on the platform and there are also risks to those operating the machines. Therefore, the training levels are going to be topnotch. The capabilities of the pilots will also be top notch.

“This is a three-man crew. We have two pilots and what we call the winch man. This requires some of the highest amount of team work because you are under extreme pressure and time constraint. So, it is very necessary that the team work seamlessly and as one.

“Search and rescue is more intricate. The helicopter will be able to come to the position, it will remain like in a high hover and we may have to winch people down, put them into baskets, winch them back up and come close to the water, amongst others. There are so many scenarios that only highly trained personnel can execute such a project. There is a centre for this operation here in Lagos, one in Osubi, one in Bonny and two other centres.”

The Ombi-Blu boss insisted that as long as companies continue to excavate oil and gas, Nigeria and organizations in the sector would require the service.

According to him, the vision of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ombi-Blu was to grow the vision into a regional support, emphasising that SeRAS had come to stay.