WIKING Helikopter orders two Airbus helis for North Sea ops

German-based WIKING Helikopter Service has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for the delivery of two H145 helicopters in offshore configuration at the international aerospace exhibition ILA in Berlin.

The H145s will become the first Airbus helicopters to join WIKING’s fleet. The company currently operates a fleet of Sikorsky and AgustaWestland aircraft.

According to Airbus, delivery of the first H145 is scheduled for the end of the year. Both rotorcrafts will be used for the transfer of harbor pilots to ships and service technicians to offshore wind farms as well as for air rescue missions over the North Sea.

The H145 in offshore configuration is equipped with an emergency floatation system, certified for Sea State 6, weather radar, helicopter emergency egress lighting system and an automatic deployable emergency locator transmitter. In its offshore seating configuration, the helicopter can transport up to eight passengers.

Airbus has recently had one its helicopters banned from operation in the North Sea offshore industry. Namely, the company’s EC225 Super Puma type was banned following an incident that claimed 13 lives off Norway.

Following the crash in Norway, a poll on Change.org was launched, addressed to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, with more than 25 thousand people asking for the Airbus EC225 Super Puma to be retired, citing safety concerns.

The UK and Norwegian Civil Aviation Authorities later agreed to extend the scope of the restriction on helicopter flights to include the AS332L2 Super Puma helicopter.

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