Freighter operators approve oil capping stack skid

The combined capping stack and air freight skid design was verified for air transportation by Antonov Airlines’ technical department confirming that the cargo can be airlifted in both AN-124-100 and AN-124-100M-150 variants

Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) has purchased a second air transport skid for its capping stack in Singapore, with Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Ukraine-based Antonov Airlines both verifying the skid for use on their freighter aircraft.

Konstantin Vekshin, executive president of charter cargo operation at Volga-Dnepr, said: “Using nearly three decades of experience in finding solutions for unique, heavy and outsized cargo, Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ engineering team worked closely with OSRL at the start of this project to verify the skid design for the transportation of this capping stack on our fleet of 12 Antonov An-124-100 aircraft, and have six sets of heavy loading equipment to enable its safe and secure transportation.”

Antonov Airlines’ technical department further confirmed that the skid can be used in both the AN-124-100 and AN-124-100M-150 airframe variants that the airline operates, as well as the AN-225.

Martin Griffiths, commercial manager at Antonov Airlines, commented: “We were very happy with the demonstration flight [using OSRL’s first skid, located in Norway] that was performed last year on one of our AN-124-100s in Stavanger. It was the first time anyone has transported a fully assembled capping stack on an aircraft, and in the event of any future oil spill emergencies, we will now be able to provide a rapid response anywhere in the world.”

The new skid will be available to OSRL Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS) subscribers from the fourth quarter of 2019.

OSRL SWIS director Andy Myers said: “We work closely with strategic partner Chapman Freeborn (air charter specialist) to continually monitor availability, location and status of the AN-124 and AN-225 airframes (twenty airframes in total globally) that are capable of transporting our capping stacks.

“AN-124 and AN-225 aircraft do not rely on airport main deck loader equipment for loading and unloading operations. Heavy load ramp systems (10 sets available globally) are utilised under the control of the aircraft providers and they are staged globally to meet aircraft operations. This provides confidence in our enhanced airfreight mobilisation option,” Myers added.

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