British Helicopter Association CEO Peter Norton has urged UK authorities to abandon plans for new restrictions on rotorcraft operations over urban areas following the January 16 accident in which an AgustaWestland A109 Power crashed in central London. The crash prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to order a review of helicopter operating rules, and an Air Accidents Investigation Branch inquiry is in progress.
Inaer France received on March 22 what it claims is the first approval in that country for a commercial helicopter operator to use night-vision goggles (NVG). France is relatively late adopting NVG operations, as most Avincis group operators already had such an approval, Frédéric Goig, CEO of the Le Cannet des Maures-based company, told AIN. Avincis is the name chosen late last year for the merged Inaer and Bond.
Reorganization of Great Britain’s police helicopter bases is well under way, in a campaign to provide “more efficient and accessible” air support to police forces in England and Wales. Although the number of bases is being cut, the improved efficiency of the system should eventually ensure that 98 percent of the population is within 20 minutes’ flight time of a base.
Cobham Aerospace Communication’s Digital Audio Control System (DACS) has been selected for Life Flight Network’s 15 new AgustaWestland AW119Kx helicopters. The Aurora, Ore.-based aeromedical transport provider is the launch customer for the AW119Kx and will be taking delivery of its first aircraft this year. According to Cobham, the DACS is a compact and lightweight unit that “distributes and controls aircraft audio to/from all transceivers, receivers and audio warning systems.” Software in the DACS allows customization of the system to fit customer needs.
EuroAvionics is demonstrating Euronav 7, the latest version of its situational awareness and mission management system, here at Heli-Expo (Booth No. 6020). Targeting professional operators, the Stuttgart, Germany-based equipment manufacturer is offering moving map systems that can superimpose other data onto the map. Approximately 1,700 Euronav systems are installed, according to the company.
AgustaWestland is expanding its global presence with deliveries in Chile, orders from the South Korean government and appointment of an independent sales representative in Canada.
The Finmeccanica company recently delivered an AW119Ke single-engine helicopter to Chilean operator Firefly. The delivery marks the entrance of the AW119Ke into the Chilean helicopter market, where it will be used as a corporate transport.
Spectrum Aeromed announced that it is part of a team developing an aeromedical interior for the latest iteration of the AW109 light twin. AgustaWestland announced the Grand New at February’s Heli-Expo.
Swiss rescue organization Rega’s 13 helicopters flew a steady (+0.2 percent) number of missions last year, the tally being 10,443. Meanwhile, the introduction of the fleet of AgustaWestland AW109 Da Vincis, a dedicated version of the Grand New, will be completed this summer in Rega’s mountain bases. Rega spent CHF113.5 million ($100 million) to acquire the 11 new helicopters.
To the accompaniment of multicolored lights and music, AgustaWestland unveiled its new AW109 Grand New here yesterday. According to AgustaWestland head of marketing Roberto Garavaglia, the helicopter is a “step change” follow-on to the popular AW109S Grand.
Poland-based PZL-Swidnik late in October delivered its 1,000th helicopter fuselage–an
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