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Westpac Rescue’s first AW139 en route to Newcastle

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 14, 2016
LCI Helicopters delivers first AW139 to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service
The Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service’s first of four AW139s during an acceptance flight in Italy. (LCI)

The first of four red, yellow and white painted AW139s for the Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service is on its way from Leonardo Helicopters’ (formerly AgustaWestland) factory in Italy after officially being delivered by the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, Lease Corporation International (LCI).

“After many years of planning, we are all extremely happy to receive the first of our new AW139 helicopters for deployment across the region,” said Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service’s general manager Richard Jones. 

“The leasing arrangement we have in place with LCI for these helicopters will enable us to provide the highest level of service and care to the people of New South Wales.”

Expected to arrive at the services’ Newcastle base in June, the AW139 will be used for crew training before having its medical interior fit out completed. 

The new ‘Westpac 1’ will then enter service in the first quarter of 2017 on a 10-year contract, announced in December 2014, by NSW Health to provide aeromedical retrieval and rescue services for Ambulance NSW from bases in Newcastle, Tamworth and Lismore.

All four AW139s have been financed under a tripartite, 10-year arrangement with Westpac Banking Corporation, an existing financier of LCI and long-term naming rights sponsor of the helicopter rescue service.

By the end of this year, LCI says it will have leased 10 AW139 helicopters to HEMS operators around the country.

Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service is an amalgamation of the Newcastle-based Hunter Region Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Lismore’s Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service.

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Comments (5)

  • Alex T


    Why is the front now coloured white? It Doesn’t really suit it IMHO. Would’ve preferred it if they stayed with the current yellow-red-yellow livery. But it’s still great to see a new & more advanced helicopter to serve the people of The Hunter/New England & Northern NSW when they are in need of help!

    Also does anyone have any idea what livery the Toll Helicopters AW139’s will get (besides the Southcare helicopter)? Because I recall reading something in the March 15″ issue saying they wanted to get community awareness back to the HEMS helicopters and they would not use the current NSW Ambulance livery??? The only pics i’ve seen are of VH-TJF in an all plain white livery with Toll markings on it.


  • Adam


    Anyone know how these are delivered from Italy? Ferry flight?

  • Alex T


    Adam, I believe they are delivered by ship, disassembled before shipment in Italy (rotors only) then reassembled once onshore. This has been the case with the Toll Helicopters AW139’s VH-TJF,TJH & TJJ. They are shipped into Port Melbourne then reassembled by AgustaWestland at Essendon Airport. They are then flown to Wollongong Airport for the cabin fitout e.g. stretcher and medical equipment.

  • Nathan Marcus


    It’s great to see the new advanced helicopter, By the end of this year LCI will lease ten AW139 helicopters for aeromedical operations in Australia which highlights the important role that leasing has in this market.

  • Scott M


    the white actually looks quite good. would prefer this scheme to the red base and yellow top we have on the westpac machines over here

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