LG International (LGI) this month is scheduled to open a new maintenance center for Russian helicopters at Seoul Gimpo Airport, with capacity for 24 major overhauls a year. Part of LG Group, LGI–which has 43 overseas offices and $18 billion in sales–focuses on Russian helicopters in South Korea.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Some two years after the Eurocopter EC 145 entered service, it seems customers have forgotten the problems that delayed the program and caused early operational difficulties. Instead, European helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) providers focus on the positive: they say they like the spacious cabin, significant payload, low noise and the extensive certified equipment.
“There were times when we could ramp up production on one line merely by shuffling some people around from the others,” said president Paul Schweizer of the eponymous light helicopter manufacturer. “Those days are gone now.”
Columbia Helicopters is to acquire the type certificates for the Vertol 107-II and Boeing Vertol 234 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. Columbia, the only commercial operator of the heavy-lift types in the world, uses the Boeing models for logging, construction, firefighting and petroleum exploration operations. The official transfer will take place after engineering details are completed and following FAA approval.
The new Bangkok City Heliport is due to open by April, giving convenient access to the center of Thailand’s notoriously congested capital. The General Aviation Co. is developing the facility, which will be located on the roof of the headquarters building of its parent group Loxley in the Klong Toey district of Bangkok.
American Eurocopter (AE) is to re-engine and upgrade the U.S. Coast Guard’s HH-65 Dolphin fleet under the Deepwater program.
AE will manage the conversion of 11 HH-65Bs to the upgraded HH-65C variant at its Columbus, Miss. facility, with the work planned for completion late next year. The program includes an option for upgrading six additional aircraft.
Brisbane, Australia-based Aeropower has converted a Volvo truck into a mobile helicopter landing and maintenance facility for its fleet of MD500s, to help crews survey and maintain high-tension power cables–often in extremely remote bush areas.
The United Nations and the governments of India and Pakistan have characterized international response to the October 8 earthquake in the Kashmiri regions of Pakistan and India as “piecemeal” and “inadequate.” On several occasions since then, they have specifically requested helicopters, some of which are now in theater and flying hard.
Last month, Sikorsky Aircraft announced an agreement to acquire privately owned Keystone Ranger Holdings for an unspecified sum. Previously backed by investors that included Meridian Venture Partners, Keystone specializes in engineering, completion and technical support for commercial helicopters, and aeromedical flight operations. Closing was expected by year-end, subject to government approval, as well as certain other conditions.
Effective December 8, all operators requesting a special traffic management program (STMP) reservation electronically will be required to update their registration information. In addition, a new e-STMP process of obtaining and verifying reservations will go into effect at that time. The FAA has published FDC notam 5/0872, which addresses the IFR STMP for the “ski mountain” airports.