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Daily Archives: 13. October 2013 − News & Stories


Heli­co­p­ter base on Bear Island (Bjørnøya)?

The­re is a gro­wing deba­te wit­hin the Nor­we­gi­an oil and gas indus­try and poli­tics about a heli­co­p­ter base on Bear Island (Bjørnøya), a rele­vant issue in view of gro­wing acti­vi­ties of the indus­try in the nort­hern Bar­ents Shelf area, which can­not direct­ly be reached by heli­co­p­ters from north Nor­way. To reach the­se remo­te are­as, all heli­co­p­ters inclu­ding search-and-res­cue helos need to refu­el on Bjørnøya, an ope­ra­ti­on that takes time and resour­ces which might be cru­cial in cases of emer­gen­cy.

Bjørnøya was decla­red a natu­re reser­ve in 2002, which is the stric­test pro­tec­tion sta­tus an area can get. Exclu­ded is a small area around the wea­ther sta­ti­on in order to keep the acti­vi­ty the­re away from trou­ble. But alrea­dy befo­re the Bjørnøya Natu­re Reser­ve was decla­red, the Nor­we­gi­an government made clear in a govern­men­tal decla­ra­ti­on (Storting­s­mel­ding Nr. 9, 1999-2000) that pro­tec­ti­ve legis­la­ti­on might be remo­ved for some are­as to estab­lish infra­st­ruc­tu­re con­nec­ted to acti­vi­ties of the oil and gas indus­try. A sui­ta­ble area was alrea­dy iden­ti­fied on the north coast of the island, east of the sta­ti­on.

The ques­ti­on of SAR and oil spill faci­li­ties beco­mes more and more important in the light of incre­a­sing indus­tri­al acti­vi­ty in the area.

Coas­tal land­s­cape on nor­the­as­tern Bear Island (Bjørnøya). Strict­ly pro­tec­ted as natu­re reser­ve, but nevertheless pos­si­b­ly the neigh­bour­hood of a heli­co­p­ter base in the future.

Bear Island (Bjørnøya)

Source: Radio Nord­kapp

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