Offshore oil helicopter operator Bristow Group is retrofitting all 44 of its helicopters with Rockwell Collins Tcas II systems. Working with the avionics manufacturer, Bristow has already retrofitted the Collins TTR-4000 Tcas II system on 24 of its helicopters. Within the next year Rockwell Collins is to install its next-generation TTR-4100, which adds traffic computer capability and enables ADS-B IN applications, on 20 of Bristow’s helicopters.
Rockwell Collins has signed a series of contracts to supply the Bristow Group, SunExpress Airlines and Iberia Airlines with various avionics equipment. This includes TCAS for Bristow’s 44 Sikorsky helicopters and a package to allow the airline customers to comply with Eurocontrol’s Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) requirement.
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Although business has been tough for UK helicopter charter companies in recent times, Capital Air Services is in the process of increasing its managed fleet with the addition of two Sikorsky S-76++ helicopters. This will bring the S-76 fleet to three, to operate alongside a Eurocopter EC155 and a pair of EC135s.
This year’s Heli-Expo continued the show’s record run, exceeding the number of attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual convention for the sixth year in a row. The final numbers included 20,393 attendees, 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors, according to HAI president Matt Zuccaro.
UK-based Bristow Helicopters, an affiliate of the Texas-based Bristow Group, today announced a 10-year contract with the UK’s Department for Transport for search-and-rescue (SAR) services for all of the country. The $2.5 billion agreement has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing until July 2017.
Under the contract, Bristow will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 medium-twin helicopters across 10 UK bases. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition, there will be two training aircraft.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) says it’s time to develop a team focused solely on helicopter safety in the U.S. The new team will be co-chaired by the Bristow Group’s Bill Chiles, representing industry, while James Viola from the FAA’s Flight Standards Division heads the government contingent. Even though the number of civil helicopter accidents has declined over the past six years, that decline has recently leveled off.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) announced Wednesday at Heli-Expo ’13 the signing of a 10-year Total Assurance Program (TAP) agreement to support the S-92 fleet operated by Bristow Group. Valued at more than $840 million, the renewal was signed late last year following expiration of a prior seven-year support contract. Sikorsky offers TAP maintenance support to commercial and military operators of the S-76, S-92 and S-70 worldwide, with the program covering up to 98 percent of the cost of parts replacement on the airframe, drive train, gearboxes, avionics and consumable items.
With the new S-76D leading the way, Sikorsky is looking forward to a healthy market for its commercial helicopter division.
According to S-76 program manager Leon Silva, the S-76D is built on “a timeless design” represented by more than 700 S-76 models flying in 46 countries. While the S-76 corporate/VIP fleet has logged a total of 642,000 flight hours, that number barely registers in comparison to the 4.07 million flight hours accumulated in support of offshore oil production.
Offshore-energy helicopter service operator Bristow Group reported increases in revenue and net income for the fourth quarter of last year. Compared with the same period in 2011, operating revenue increased by 17 percent, to $346.7 million, and adjusted net income grew to $42.6 million, a $14.8 million jump from the comparable 2011 period.