The UK’s Blackpool Airport is facing permanent closure on October 16, as “the airport operations have been making a loss for a number of years” and no buyer for the field could be found, according to airport operator MAR Properties. Bond Helicopters, which has used Blackpool as a base for offshore oil-and-gas flights, said it is “currently in discussions with a number of alternative airfields.” Opened as Squires Gate Airport in 1909, Blackpool Airport has the distinction of being one of the first aviation sites in the UK.
Bond Aviation Group
Vector Financial Services, an independent provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul service, has extended its leasing and support agreements for two Vector-owned AS332L Super Pumas with Bond Helicopters Australia.
“The Vector team understands the level of support our operations need and is committed to delivering the quality of service we demand,” said John Boag, managing director of Bond Helicopters Australia. “We have been working with Vector on MRO activities for years and are pleased to extend this to the leasing program.”
A UK inquiry into the April 2009 fatal crash of a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma in the North Sea begins today in Aberdeen, Scotland. Operated by Bond Helicopters, the rotorcraft suffered a main rotor gearbox failure and crashed into the sea off the Aberdeenshire coast while returning from an oil platform. The accident killed the two pilots and all 14 passengers aboard.
Avincis Group, provider of aerial services worldwide (Booth No. C7211), announced that in Latin America it has appointed Ian Kummerlin as regional CEO, based in Santiago, Chile. He will directly supervise the expansion of Avincis Group subsidiaries Inaer Chile and Inaer Peru. “My focus is to allow both Inaer and Avincis to become lead players in mission-critical services in the region,” Said Kummerlin.
Avincis is the new name for World Helicopters, a firm that combined the Bond Aviation Group with Inaer when it took over the former last spring. The group, owned by KKR and Investindustrial, operates 400 aircraft, 350 of them helicopters.
Sikorsky delivered two baseline S-92s to Bond Aviation Group, the first of 16 medium twins to be delivered under “the largest one-time acquisition of S-92s,” the manufacturer said. Sikorsky will now customize the helicopters for offshore oil operations. They will be operated by Norsk Helikopter Service in Norway. Sikorsky says the S-92’s backlog extends “well into 2016” and that the fleet will reach 500,000 hours early next year.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) published a further “special bulletin” late last week in its investigation into the controlled ditching of a Bond-operated EC225 medium twin in May in the North Sea, confirming an earlier hint by Eurocopter that the emergency lubrication system gave the pilots a false failure warning.
Oil and gas giant Shell has excluded Bond Offshore Helicopters from a tender for helicopter services in the North Sea in which Bond was participating. Shell explained that the recent Eurocopter EC225 ditching event requires additional review, a process it has deemed too lengthy for the tender’s timeline.
Bond Aviation Group signed a contract to purchase 16 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters at Heli-Expo 2012, the largest single order for S-92s ever recorded. Sikorsky will begin delivering the aircraft in groups of four-to-five a year starting in the second quarter of 2013.
Carey Bond, chief marketing officer for Sikorsky, welcomed the Bond (no relation) aviation group to the Sikorsky family with a celebratory contract signing and a toast at the Sikorsky exhibit booth (No. 6148).
Bond Aviation Group announced yesterday it has signed “a framework agreement” with AgustaWestland (Booth No. 5602) for the purchase of 10 helicopters, with options for another five.
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