Selection of a preferred bidder could emerge before the end of this year in the UK’s search-and-rescue helicopter (SAR-H) procurement process, which aims to replace the country’s existing mix of military and contractor-operated helicopters with new machines operated by a single commercial consortium under a private finance initiative (PFI) contract.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the ditching of a Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma in the North Sea on February 18. All 16 passengers and two crewmembers were rescued with minor injuries after the Bond-operated helicopter ditched near its destination oil platform. The accident took place in the ETAP field, about 130 nm east of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Eurocopter will break ground next month on a new helicopter service and simulator facility in Kirkhill Commercial Park near Aberdeen Airport, Scotland, a major hub for offshore oil and gas operations. Construction is to be completed by December. Knight Property Group will design and build the facility. It will consist of a 10,000-sq-ft logistics warehouse and 5,000 sq ft of offices.
Eurocopter is building a new service and training center to service its North Sea offshore energy clients in Scotland. The new center will be built in the Kirkhill Commerce Park in Dyce.
Taking advantage of the busy oil and gas industry operations centered around Aberdeen, Scotland, Eurocopter will open a new helicopter service center at Kirkhill Commercial Park in Dyce. The facility will provide logistical and technical support in a 10,000-sq-ft warehouse and 5,000-sq-ft office building, as well as EC 255 simulator-based flight training in a 5,360-sq-ft space.
Eurocopter has received orders for 10 EC 155 Dauphins and five AS 350B3 Ecureuils from two Chinese companies. Citic Offshore Helicopter will operate the EC 155s, the deliveries of which will start next year. Meanwhile, the AS 350B3s will be delivered over the next two years to Allyway and leased to various Chinese operators. This is the first order for the B3 variant in China.
Bristow Helicopters has unveiled plans for new European headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland. The building at Kirkhill Commercial Park at Dyce Airport includes 12,000 sq ft of office space, 6,000 sq ft of classrooms and 11,500 sq ft available for up to four flight simulators. Two new simulators, one for the Eurocopter EC 225 and one for the Sikorsky S-92, will be installed during the construction phase.
Eurocopter now hopes to obtain certification for its EC 225 by early next year instead of in the third quarter of this year, as previously stated. According to the Franco-German helicopter manufacturer, the civil EC 225 is planned to be certified before qualification of its military sister, the EC 725, both of which are upgraded variants of the AS 332L2 Super Puma.
Norsk Helikopter has signed a six-year contract with StatoilHydro and ENI Norge for offshore oil platform helicopter transportation from Hammerfest, Norway, starting next year. The agreement includes two Eurocopter EC 225s, which will perform platform crew change services and 24/7 search-and-rescue in the Barents Sea.
Industria Controls, a French subsidiary of California-based Circor Aerospace, has been selected by Claverham Ltd to provide an integrated pressure switch for the Eurocopter/ Harbin Aircraft EC175 medium twin helicopter. The hydraulic component is supposed to be environmentally friendly–with zero leakage–as well as vibration- and fire-proof. Testing is to start by year-end.