The Helicopter Landing Officer, also known as HLO, is responsible for ensuring all helicopter operations on the vessel are conducted safely and efficiently. The HLO commands a team, which is usually made up of members of the vessel’s crew, known as HDA’s (Helideck Assistants). The assistants themselves are also trained in passenger and freight handling, helicopter safety and fire and rescue.
The correct performance of standard procedures and a swift response to emergency situations by the helideck team are the key factors in the safety of all crew and passengers on the vessel and helicopter. The HLO is the primary link between the vessel and the helicopter and is in overall charge of the helideck during flight operations.
On completion of the training, the trainees will have a good understanding of the organisational requirements for the operation of helicopters from helidecks. The HLO will:
- conduct everyday management of the helideck and its associated facilities;
- assist the aircraft commander in completing paperwork requirements prior to flying operations;
- control all helideck operations, including during any emergencies; and,
- organise and conduct onboard helicopter drills to maintain helideck team training currency.
Prior to attending this course, trainees must have completed the following:
- Advanced Fire Fighting (STCW Code A-V1/3);
- HDA qualified – Helideck Procedures & Emergency Response; and,
- practical experience performing the duties of an HDA.
This is usually a 1-day course made up of theory and practical sessions with a short 1 hour written exam but can vary depending on the location that the course is taken.