The Japan National Police Agency ordered another AgustaWestland AW139, the Italian helicopter manufacturer and its distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced at ABACE yesterday. The medium twin is scheduled to enter service next year for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. More than 40 AgustaWestland helicopters are currently supporting law enforcement throughout various Japanese prefectures. According to AgustaWestland, Japan already uses the AW139 for critical missions such as search-and-rescue, firefighting and disaster relief.
The Japan National Police Agency has ordered another Agusta Westland AW139 medium twin helicopter, which is scheduled to enter service in 2015 for operations in Kagoshima Prefecture. AgustaWestland and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced the sale here at ABACE on Tuesday, noting that the new AW139 will replace an ageing Bell 412 in the police fleet.
AgustaWestland and Sino-US Intercontinental of China celebrated the grand opening of a joint regional business headquarters in Shanghai on April 9. Last September Sino-US Intercontinental was appointed an official non-exclusive distributor for civil AgustaWestland helicopters in China, but not including Hong Kong and Macau.
With some long-awaited relaxation of the rules governing helicopter operations in China, prospects for the rotorcraft industry at last seem to be firming up. Last year the entire fleet (465 helicopters, 424 based in Mainland China) grew by 20 percent, according to the Asian Sky Group, which in February published the latest edition of its Greater China Civil Helicopter Fleet Report.
Chartright Executive Helicopters will operate a depot for AgustaWestland in Toronto that will stock parts for the AW109, AW119 and AW139s. Chartright is an authorized AgustaWestland service center.
There were some surprises in the new-helicopter department at the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo show, held during the last week of February, but the big news this year was the crop of orders, especially from helicopter leasing companies.
State Sen. John Astle, a former Marine One pilot, wants to know why it is taking the Maryland State Police (MSP) so long to make its new fleet of AgustaWestland medium helicopters operational. MSP is replacing its aging fleet of AS365Ns with larger AW139s and will fly them dual pilot.
Russia’s Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee has cleared Helivert, the joint venture between Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland, to begin assembling AW139s at a new plant at Tomilino.
March 11, 2008, was a not-to-be-forgotten date in the annals of United Arab Emirates motoring history. That day, 250 cars were involved in a pile-up on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road just outside Ghantoot, about 30 miles from Dubai. Despite the thick fog that had drifted in from the Gulf, motorists apparently made little or no attempt to moderate their speed, and mayhem was the result. Abu Dhabi Police helicopter pilot Major Hammad Al Kitbi arrived on the scene to find devastation.
AgustaWestland has had a busy several days here at Heli-Expo. The airframer announced several orders, including one to Omni Helicopters International Group for nine helicopters (four AW139 intermediate twins and five AW189 medium twins in offshore configuration), deliveries of which will begin in late 2015 and late 2016, respectively. The order marks the conclusion of an earlier agreement for a total of 13 AW139s, and the arrival of the AW189s will mark the type’s Brazil debut, where Omni will use it to support the oil and gas industry.