Airbus Helicopters delivers first H145 to PNG-based Pacific Helicopters

A supplied image of Pacific Helicopters' new Airbus H145 helicopter. (Airbus)
A supplied image of Pacific Helicopters’ new Airbus H145 helicopter. (Airbus)

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first of three H145 helicopters to Papua New Guinea-based Pacific Helicopters.

The H145 is the first new Airbus Helicopter to be operated in PNG and will be based in Goroka in the country’s east, Airbus said in a statement on Thursday.

“As a result of the introduction of the H145, and the demonstration flights carried out in Port Moresby, Pacific Helicopters is confident that their prospects for future business opportunities within the PNG minerals and resources industry are very exciting,” Pacific Helicopters owner and chief Malcolm Smith-Kela said in a statement.

While the first H145 was acquired through leasing company Waypoint Leasing, the remaining two on order will be purchased and owned by Pacific Helicopters and were due for delivery later in 2016.

Airbus Helicopters has said previously the H145 – which was renamed from the EC145 T2 in 2015 – was well suited for EMS (emergency medical service) and police operations. The H145 was also demonstrated to the Australian military during a month-long tour of Australia in June and July 2015 which covered 15 capital cities, regional centres and towns across the country.

A New Zealand-based customer accepted delivery of a H145 in April, the first delivery of the type in this part of the world.

Meanwhile, there were currently about 10 earlier model EC145s flying in Australia. Compared to the EC145 the H145 features a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and twin Turbomeca Arrius 2E engines.

“We are proud to grow our partnership with Pacific Helicopters and support them as they continue to expand their operations, particularly in the demanding flying environment of Papua New Guinea,” Airbus Group Australia Pacific managing director Tony Fraser said in a statement.

“The H145 is a powerful, comfortable, modern and versatile multi-purpose rotorcraft, already produced with a large range of options to perform a broad mission spectrum that is also ideal for the support of the Oil & Gas Industry here in PNG”, explained Ms. Nicole Demosky, Pacific Helicopters’ Marketing Manager.

Airbus Helicopters said it was providing flight crew training and “power by the hour support” to Pacific Helicopters from its Sydney facility.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific represents Airbus Helicopters in the Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.