Irrespective of political turmoil in land-based energy supplier regions, oil and gas exploration and production is rising, especially offshore where drilling technology advances have made extraction more efficient. This is driving demand for helicopters and simulators.
The CAE/AgustaWestland Rotorsim joint venture has received EASA and Italian ENAC approval for its CAE Series 3000 AW189 full-motion simulator to level-D qualifications. The new simulator will be based at AgustaWestland’s new simulation building at the A. Marchetti Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy.
With its oil and gas industry Nigeria has a large offshore support industry, employing a number of established operators such as Bristow and Caverton. The oil and gas business has a growing need for deep-water support, which in turn requires larger and longer-legged aircraft. The increase in numbers of sorties is also driving a requirement for greater air traffic control. A Saab Sensis system is expected to provide low-level coverage for the Gulf of Guinea by year-end.
CAE and Brazilian helicopter operator Lider Aviaçao launched a helicopter pilot training program in São Paulo for the Sikorsky S-92. The CAE-Lider Aviaçao joint venture purchased the S-92 simulator late last year, though it was identified at the time only as an undisclosed customer. The S-92 training program under the joint venture will support flight training for all of Lider’s S-92 pilots, as well as those from other helicopter operators in the region.
GE Aviation and Bristow Group signed the first engine service agreement for the CT7-2E1 turboshaft that powers the new AgustaWestland AW189 twin. The agreement expands the longstanding GE-Bristow partnership by adding the AW189s’ engines to Bristow’s global fleet of powerplants maintained under a maintenance cost per hour (MCPH) service agreement.
GE Aviation (Booth No. 7202) joined with Bristow Group on Wednesday to sign the first engine service agreement for the CT7-2E1 turboshaft engine powering the AW189 helicopter.
Safran subsidiary Microturbo of Toulouse, France, and Houston’s Bristow Group announced at Heli-Expo 2014 signing the first support by the hour (SBH) agreement for Microturbo’s e-APU60. The Microturbo e-APU provides auxiliary power for the AW189 helicopter, which Bristow operates. Under the five-year agreement Turbomeca, Safran’s helicopter engine specialist, will provide integrated support activity for the Microturbo e-APUs installed on 11 search-and-rescue helicopters and six operating in the and oil and gas sector. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is highlighting its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) audit program to rotorcraft operators here at Heli-Expo 2014. It was developed to establish a common safety audit standard that could be applied to “on-shore resource sector aviation support activities.”
AgustaWestland gained EASA approval for its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter on February 7. The company said that delivery of the first two AW189s in offshore configuration to Bristow Group was “imminent.” More than 100 AW189s are on order. To date, Bristow has placed a firm order for 11 AW189s for use on a UK search-and-rescue contract and for offshore operations. Other large fleet customers include Gulf Helicopters and Era, with 15 orders each.
Helicopter manufacturers are expected to deliver 4,800 to 5,500 new turbine-powered civilian models in the next five years, Honeywell predicts in its annual market forecast. “What the operators told us was that for the most part, far more operators plan on increasing their flight activity than those who reported they were going to cut back on flight operations,” Charles Park, Honeywell’s market analyst, told AIN. “The actual usage of the platforms should increase as well.”
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