The new AW139s are part of a $47 million purchase of aerial assets for north Queensland announced on October 22 and will replace two older Bell 412s. Both new helicopters will be based in Townsville.
The government has also ordered a new Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, to be based in Cairns from March 2018, for policing operations.
“The two new AW139 helicopters replace two ageing Bell helicopters which are more than 20-years-old,” said Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan.
“They will have the ability to work with police and all emergency services, including aerial surveillance, search and rescue, and hospital patient transfers [and are] able to travel further and faster, providing more coverage for more Queenslanders.”
Both helicopters are expected to enter service by December 2018, joining three AW139s already in service with the QGAir.
QGAir operates five helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft from bases located in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Mt Isa and Horn Island.