Texas Aviation Services, a helicopter completions specialist with a 140,000-sq-ft facility in Fort Worth, Texas, said it has completed and delivered an executive Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri to a private customer.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety has awarded a competitive bid for completion of six Eurocopters to Metro Aviation, working from a new main facility near the Shreveport Downtown Airport in Louisiana. Metro Aviation, in its first work for the state of Texas, beginning this month will complete five “green” AS 350B2s and one new EC 145.
UK-based helicopter charter specialist PremiAir has added another Eurocopter EC 155 to its fleet, bringing its total to 17 executive helicopters under management, including Sikorsky S-76s, Eurocopter AS 355 Twin Squirrels and a Bell 222. In addition, the company is in the midst of a major redevelopment of its heliport at Battersea, London’s only such CAA-licensed public facility.
Air Methods (Booth No. 1043) has delivered to Mayo Medical Transport of Rochester, Minn., a “comprehensively equipped” EC 145 EMS helicopter, the first of that model completed for an operator other than Air Methods’ own aeromedical transport divisions. The new EC 145 is the first of two for the Mayo Clinic. The air medical interior by Denver-based Air Methods can accommodate two critical care patients and three medical attendants.
AgustaWestland announced an order from the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) of China for two AW109 Powers, with an option for another two expected to be exercised next year. The MSA is responsible for patrolling all of China’s inland and coastal waterways. The light twin-turbine helicopters will be dedicated to controlling and fighting water pollution. They will operate aboard the MSA ships in the Guangdong province in southern China.
Despite delays that have slowed progress on the Bell/Agusta BA609, AgustaWestland CEO Guiseppe Orsi insisted the program remains on track for certification and first customer deliveries in 2011.
There are good times ahead for helicopter manufacturers, if the latest market forecasts are anything to go by. Forecast International recently projected sales of more than 14,000 helicopters worth some $30 billion in the next decade. If this year’s Heli-Expo is anything like last year’s–where sales tallies exceeded $730 million–the manufacturers will have to contend with backlogs that extend even farther into the future.
Decatur, Texas-based United Rotorcraft Solutions (URS) has delivered the first of two Bell 407s customized for aeromedical operations to Halo-Flight of Corpus Christi, Texas. Exhibiting at Booth No. 1337, URS is highlighting its completions and refurbishment services, which also include maintenance and overhaul. Halo-Flight accepted its first URS-completed 407 on December 19.
Birmingham, Ala.-based Children’s Hospital took delivery last month of a 1995 Bell 206L4, the first helicopter in the state dedicated and equipped exclusively for the transport of sick infants and children. Before its arrival last month, the hospital’s Care Flight critical care transport team shared helicopter services with other area hospitals.
The U.S. Navy has temporarily halted “Increment 2” development of the VH-71 Marine One presidential helicopter replacement program and is reevaluating available options. However, Pentagon officials say the current contract remains in effect.