Babcock Australasia has taken delivery of two Airbus Helicopters H175 aircraft, the first of their kind to arrive in Australia.
The two helicopters, to be registered VH-NYJ and VH-NYI, arrived in Darwin on November 27 on board an Antonov An-124.
The pair of H175s will be operated on contract from Dili, Timor-Leste, by Babcock Offshore Services Australasia. The super-medium helicopters will be used for offshore personnel transport, search and rescue (SAR) support and medevac support for the Bayu-Undan gas production operations in the Timor Sea, 500km northwest of Darwin.
“Babcock’s investment in two brand-new H175s is a first for Australia’s aviation industry and is evidence of our commitment to growing our mission critical capabilities,” said Babcock Offshore Services Australasia’s managing director John Boag.
“Seeing them arrive in Darwin aboard one of the world’s largest transport aircraft is a bonus for aviation enthusiasts such as myself.”
Airbus Helicopters trained 27 of Babcock Australasia’s pilots and engineers in the assembly, flight and maintenance of the H175 helicopters. A further 19 Timorese will be employed by Babcock, including four local engineers, who will attend training with Airbus in France in early 2018.
Boag said the H175 was selected by Babcock as “best-of-type” for the purpose of the contract.
“Babcock is proud to be delivering two latest generation helicopters to our client and we are committed to ensuring maximum asset availability through the expertise of our people,” Boag said.
“This contract represents a significant capital investment in aircraft, infrastructure and training by Babcock and is the culmination of many months of planning, preparation and implementation.”
Babcock Australasia’s engineers will re-assemble the helicopters at the company’s Darwin Airport hangar prior to deployment and the commencement of flying operations on January 1 2018.