Australian Reef Pilots has leased a new AugustaWestland AW109 helicopter to help guide ships through the Great Barrier Reef.
The Mackay based helicopter will be used to meet incoming coal ships and other vessels at Hydrographers Passage and Blossom Bank on the Reef. ARP provides specialist marine pilots who guide ships through the Reef’s passages. Typically the pilots are transported by fast launch but the Blossom Bank entry point is too far out, ARP said.
The helicopter will also enhance pilots’ ability to get out to ships quickly, in bad weather, and at night, ARP said.