Deadhorse Aviation Center opens on Alaska's North Slope

Deadhorse Aviation Center provides needed support and infrastructure for exploration and production operations on the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea

August 20, 2012 — Fairweather is pleased to announce the opening of its new aviation facility on Alaska's North Slope. According to Fairweather Director of Business Development Lori Davey, Deadhorse Aviation Center (DAC) is designed to provide oil companies and their suppliers with a safe and efficient aviation command center to successfully manage onshore operations and Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration and production activities on the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea.

DAC is located at the FAA-approved Deadhorse Airport, adjacent to the taxiway and Runway 5, with easy access to roads and the ocean. DAC facilities are available for lease to companies working on the North Slope in need of terminal and hangar facilities, logistics support, staging and storage areas, offices and conference facilities, medical services and accommodations for sleeping and dining. DAC is wholly owned by Offshore Support Services, LLC (an Edison Chouest Company), Fairweather, LLC and the Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation.

According to Davey, great care was taken throughout the planning process not only to identify deficiencies that currently exist on the North Slope, but also to anticipate future industry needs in order to ensure that the long-term goals of oil field exploration and production are met. Fairweather sought input into the facility's design from OCS operators, drilling groups, security and aviation experts and IT and communications specialists. The DAC design team also worked closely with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) to ensure the facility meets all requirements. Upon review of the Deadhorse Airport Master Plan, it was determined the airport facilities were inadequate to meet the ongoing needs of OCS ventures, as well as the Point Thomson project and the Alaska Gas Pipeline. DAC was designed specifically to meet all these needs, providing a turn-key solution to oil and gas companies seeking infrastructure at the North Slope.

The DAC facility features a 21,000-square-foot aircraft hangar accommodating two to three large helicopters or smaller fixed-wing aircraft, fully equipped with safety, fire suppression and environmental features that meet international standards. The ergonomically designed hangar is equipped with safety, fire suppression and environmental features that meet international standards. A secure logistics facility offers complete cargo handling services and a 10.4-acre staging and storage yard with direct access to the Alaskan road system. DAC is the only airport in the area with a complete weather and ice forecasting center and a design in place for a heated jetway.

The DAC terminal complies with all TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements, providing passenger and baggage screening, secure baggage handling and cargo handling for both onshore and offshore operations. The cargo handling facility includes counter-to-counter package services, radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking, and loading and offloading of all aircraft from C-130s to helicopters. The facility is also equipped to handle heavy equipment and Hazmat materials. Incorporated into the DAC design is a state-of-the-art Incident Command Center (ICC) capable of accommodating a full-scale emergency response in accordance with all USCG requirements. This expandable ICC is equipped with the latest technology, including a robust IT and state-of-the-art communications system.

DAC houses a fully equipped Fairweather Medical Services clinic. The clinic provides a full spectrum of acute care, emergency medicine and occupational health services, including advanced cardiac life support, on-site labs and ambulance services. The clinic is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year, with state-licensed physician assistants, paramedics and occupational health technicians trained by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and CAOHC (Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation). Fairweather medical providers bring extensive experience in their respective fields and are well-versed in all aggressive first aid concepts. Medical services include teleradiology, 12-lead EKG tests (with immediate radiologist and cardiologist interpretations when necessary), physical exams (DOT CDL, HAZWOPER, Coast Guard, and pre-employment), pulmonary function testing, respiratory fit testing, audiometry testing, drug and alcohol screenings, as well as return to work and fit for duty evaluations. The DAC clinic offers 24-hour telemedicine consultation, along with MedEvac support for immediate hospital transport if necessary. Fairweather, LLC provides expert medical case management, including logistics, transportation and ongoing communication with their management team in Anchorage.

Accommodations for 48 persons are available for leasing tenants' staff and transient personnel and Fairweather employees. Amenities include private baths and satellite TV, along with a 60-seat dining facility, exercise room, laundry room and common areas. Additional facilities include private office suites, training and meeting rooms, high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, VoIP and video conferencing. The telecom system at DAC is capable of serving multiple tenants with unique IT requirements. The system is designed with flexible routing to accommodate varying physical space needs and wiring layouts, as well as the addition of secure third party equipment. Publicly distributed wireless access points (Wi-Fi) are located throughout the facility offering tenants both public and secure network access. All communications services at DAC are supported by a high-speed fiber optic ring network with a UPS backup power system.

DAC features the latest in advanced security technology featuring an integrated card reader and camera system, allowing for maximum security at each high-risk Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) within the terminal, as well as all lower interior security doors. Security cards can be coded for access to both minimum and maximum security areas.

DAC provides ground transportation for personnel, as well as equipment rental to include vehicles, forklifts, survival suits and other marine and offshore gear. DAC also provides services to clean, store and maintain survival suits and other gear necessary for offshore operations. The terminal area features a room for suiting up while watching the safety briefing. A separate room is available for arriving passengers to remove their suits and exit the terminal. These facilities ensure proper survival suit maintenance and eliminate the need for drilling crews to transport their suits back and forth between shift changes.

Fairweather, LLC is an Alaskan company founded in 1976 by Sherron Perry with an initial focus on providing aviation weather observation services to remote regions. In response to the growth of the emerging oil and gas industry, Fairweather expanded its operations to include a variety of logistics and expediting services. Today, Fairweather provides a wide range of remote logistics services, including medical support, meteorological and oceanographic forecasting, aviation support and bear protection with a team of licensed Health, Safety and Environmental professionals on staff.

According to Davey, ECO's strong track record in transportation, logistics and technology brings a new realm of support to the North Slope. The decision to partner with the Kaktovik IƱupiat Corporation (KIC) was a logical choice due to Fairweather's long-time relationship with the native corporation and the wide-ranging local knowledge KIC brings to the project. ECO has a close relationship with village of Kaktovik, providing opportunities for villagers to train at ECO's headquarters in Louisiana for positions in vessel operations.

For additional information, contact Fairweather at 907-267-4602 or visit