Photo courtesy of CHC Group
Australia is set to meet the Leonardo AW189. CHC Group said it would be the “first” helicopter operator to bring the new-generation super-medium into the nation. The aircraft would be flown from CHC’s Karratha base on behalf of Woodside to support its oil and gas operations on the North West Shelf.
“We are delighted to be the first to fly the AW189s in Australia and to offer this new-generation aircraft to Woodside,” said Vince D’Rozario, CHC regional director of Asia Pacific. “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.”
Operations are to begin this month.
CHC said the AW189 is the first large helicopter in Australia to be designed to Maintenance Steering Group-3 processes, providing greater reliability and less maintenance man-hours. The operator introduced the AW189 and Airbus Helicopters H175 to its global fleet in July, launching its super medium aircraft program for operations in the North Sea and Australia. CHC aimed to use the long-range AW189s and H175s for missions that traditionally have been limited to heavy helicopters and to access offshore platforms that are not designed to support the heavier aircraft.
The operator said it has operated Leonardo aircraft since 2005. That year, CHC took delivery of its first commercial AW139. It has now logged more than 125,000 flying hours across its global AW139 fleet, including operations in Australia. Those flights started in 2008, performing emergency rescue and oil-and-gas passenger-transfer operations.