Offshore helicopter services provider CHC Helicopter will begin flying the new AW189 helicopters in Australia this month to support Woodside’s offshore operations.
To remind, the company expanded its fleet with five new aircraft leased from GECAS’ Milestone back in August. This added three new Leonardo AW189s and two Airbus H175s to CHC’s fleet.
CHC said on Sunday that the three AW189s would be flown from the company’s Karratha base on behalf of Woodside to support its operations on the North West Shelf starting this month. The helicopter specialist added that it would be the first operator to fly this helicopter model in Australia.
According to CHC, the twin-engine aircraft can be configured to carry up to 19 passengers and will provide passenger transfer flights to Woodside’s installations. It exceeds the most recent FAA and EASA Part 29 safety standards including the industry leading 50 min run-dry gearbox and is the first large helicopter in Australia to be designed to MSG-3 processes, providing greater reliability and fewer maintenance man-hours.
Vince D’Rozario, CHC regional director for APAC, said: “We are delighted to be the first to fly the AW189s in Australia and to offer this new-generation aircraft to Woodside. The arrival of the AW189s marks a new chapter in our long and established relationship with the aircraft manufacturer Leonardo. We look forward to continuing to deepen this relationship as we provide this fit-for-purpose aircraft to Woodside, who we have proudly served since 2011.”
Dave Balevic, senior VP of engineering and operations at CHC, added: “The 189 will be a great complement to our existing AW139 fleet. We have a history of success operating Leonardo products and look forward to setting new milestones with our new aircraft.”
CHC has operated Leonardo aircraft since taking delivery of its first commercial AW139 in the region back in 2005. Since then, the company has logged more than 125,000 flying hours across its global AW139 fleet.
The helicopter operator started flying AW139s in Australia in 2008 for emergency rescue and as oil and gas passenger transfer services. In January 2017, CHC Australia celebrated 25,000 flight hours over ten years on the AW139.