Weststar Aviation Services Awarded JX Nippon Contract to Operate State-of-the-Art AgustaWestland AW189 Helicopter

27 May 2015

Tumpat, Kelantan, 27 May, 2015 - Three international oil and gas companies operating in Malaysia, namely Hess, Repsol and Petrofac, alongside global offshore helicopter transportation services provider Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd (WASSB), organized a lively dikir barat competition at the Kelantan International Kite Festival this week to drive home safety messages among local wau players. The competition is part of their Wau Bule Selamat Sokmo campaign, which aims to raise grass-root level awareness about the safety risks posed by traditional kite flying activities in restricted zones around Kota Bharu’s Sultan Ismail Petra airport.

As many as eight dikir barat groups competed to win cash prizes, which were awarded based on the most engaging performance as well as the most creative and accurate reinterpretations of the Wau Bule Selamat Sokmo campaign safety messages. The competition, which ran from 26-27 May, was jointly-managed by Tourism Kelantan, organizers of the Kelantan International Kite Festival.

“We decided to take advantage of the Kelantan International Kite Festival and the very popular dikir barat as means to communicate with wau enthusiasts and highlight how their pastime can impact the safety of our helicopter operations”, said WASSB Domestic Operations Manager, V. Adm Datuk Jamil Osman, who spoke on behalf of the campaign team. “We wanted to ensure that the tradition of wau-flying continue to flourish, unblemished by safety incidents”.

WASSB provides offshore helicopter transportation services for the oil and gas industry from its airbase in the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Bharu. Large waus flown within the airport restricted zones have become hazards to their helicopters, as pilots needed to maneuver aircraft to avoid colliding into kites on their landing path. Last year, there were several occasions where considerable lengths of twine used to fly these kites were found entangled in the helicopter rotors; which could have caused fatal accidents involving not only the lives of passengers but those on the ground. Following these near-miss incidents, WASSB and their clients Hess, Repsol and Petrofac collaborated to launch the Wau Bule Selamat Sokmo campaign as a platform to enlighten the public about the dangers of wau-flying activities in airport restricted zones.

“Safety is the top priority for WASSB and our clients; our simple aim is to ensure everyone goes home safely at the end of each day”, remarked Datuk Jamil. “By organizing this dikir barat competition, we hope wau enthusiasts can relate to our safety messages and help reduce the chances of any unfortunate incidents occurring to all aircraft operators at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport”.

Last year, the safety campaign targeted students and teachers in schools located within a five-kilometer radius of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. The campaign team visited eight schools in the Pengkalan Chepa area and organized a safety poster competition among the schoolchildren.

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Weststar Aviation Services Contact:
Fairul Ramzi
General Manager, Corporate Affairs