Erickson Air-Crane has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 14 helicopters and associated personnel and assets from HRT Participacoes em Petroleo (HRT). The deal requires Erickson Air-Crane to provide operational services, including both cargo and passenger transport, to HRT in the Amazon under a three-year renewable contract. Erickson traditionally had focused its efforts on building, selling, servicing and operating heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes. Erickson CEO Udo Rieder said the agreement provides “an excellent path to diversification and growth.”
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
England and Wales have begun consolidating local police air assets into the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) to provide a national, borderless service making use of the nearest aircraft. The 24-hour air service will operate 28 aircraft from 23 locations and be able to reach “98 percent of the population of England and Wales within 20 minutes.” The British government hopes the NPAS program will save up to £15 million ($24 million) a year. The service is being implemented regionally, and the consolidation is expected to be complete by January 2015.
AgustaWestland’s new eight-ton medium-heavy twin recently completed high/hot testing in Arizona, Colorado and Texas and now heads north. The company expects certification in this year’s second half. AgustaWestland has logged orders for approximately 60 of the new helicopters, primarily from the oil and gas market.
Australian operator Newcastle Helicopters has plans to launch a floating heliport in Sydney’s harbor in the middle of this year. The powered, flat-top vessel will feature two helipad sites, aircraft storage, refueling facilities and meeting rooms.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), a global organization dedicated to reducing the civil helicopter accident rate, has added Robinson Helicopter president Kurt Robinson to its executive committee. He is a commercial helicopter pilot and he holds an MBA and a law degree from the University of San Diego.
While House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spent yesterday rounding up Republican votes for a plan to extend tax cuts on incomes up to $1 million to forestall the fiscal cliff, the Baltimore-based aviation consulting group AirInsight believes that at worst there will be a “soft landing.” The company said it expects Congress and President Obama to reach a deal early next month, retroactive to January 1.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) will take the helm of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when Congress reorganizes in January. He will take the gavel from Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who was prevented from serving another term as chairman because of Republican caucus rules. Shuster’s father, Bud, also served as chairman of the committee.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) has released a report outlining the effects sequestration will have on the aviation industry, as well as the U.S. economy, if Congress does not act to avert the across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect January 1.
Another step toward Hawker Beechcraft emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy came yesterday when it received court authorization to sell its remaining inventory of Hawker 4000s. As part of its reorganization plan as a standalone company, Hawker Beechcraft is shutting down its business jet line and intends to sell 20 Hawker 4000s “for the best price possible, on an ‘as-is-where-is’ basis, with no warranty or support commitments.”
Today at MEBA 2012 in Dubai, the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced a joint initiative to further promote and develop business aviation in the Middle East and North Africa region. The objective of the joint effort is to change the regulatory environment by encouraging civil authorities in the region to adopt a “best practices” set of common principles, which the two organizations will soon develop.