Leonardo will soon deliver three additional AW139 twin engine helicopters to Australia, after an order was placed by CHC Australia to support Western Australia’s Emergency Rescue Helicopter Service (ERHS).
CHC Australia said the decision will help to modernise the state’s ERHS fleet and provide enhanced capabilities for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), search and rescue, and patient transfers out of Jandakot and Bunbury Airports.
The three aircraft will be delivered in early 2023 direct from Leonardo’s Vergiate final assembly factory in Italy and will enter service in WA later in the year.
Some custom modifications, including a HEMS-dedicated interior and advanced mission console, will be installed in Australia before the helicopters enter service.
Leonardo said its AW139 is now the “leading model” for HEMS in Australia, with over 130 airframes purchased in the country to date, while CHC said the new AW139s boast a 75 per cent increase in range over older helicopters and are able to cruise 16 per cent faster.
It comes as CHC signed a new 12-year contract with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) in Western Australia, to provide round-the-clock emergency rescue helicopter operations.
Vince D’Rozario, CHC’s regional director, Asia-Pacific, said: “We are honoured to be awarded this contract. This award reinforces the strong partnership with DFES, established over the past 19 years.
“Our specialist teams have worked tirelessly, diligently and with great pride to ensure the highest standards of service and the delivery of a safe and reliable operation.”
“CHC has a longstanding relationship with DFES, serving the people of WA for almost two decades,” added CHC Helicopter president and chief executive David Balevic.
“Their decision to continue working with CHC is testament to the hard work, dedication and outstanding safety standards.”