Leonardo-Finmeccanica has received EASA certification for the AW189's Full Ice Protection System (FIPS). This allows the aircraft to operate in full icing conditions while others are grounded.
The fully automatic system underwent three years of flight trials in northern Europe and North America during winter. It includes electrically heated main and tail rotor blades, heated windscreens and an ice detection system.
The FIPS system is now available as an option on the AW189 and follows certification of the Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) in September 2015. LIPS permits flight within a known and defined envelope of icing conditions, provided that the capability to descend into a known band of positive temperature is available throughout the intended route.