A search-and-rescue crewman with the UK’s Bristow Helicopters claims he is being “unceremoniously dumped” from his job after the injuries he sustained over the years make it impossible for him to work. John Boulton, 47, a winchman based at Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles, plans to sue the company for compensation.
Eurocopter yesterday reported orders here at Le Bourget for EC 225 and EC 155 B1 rotorcraft from Bristow Helicopters and, in a separate contract, for EC 135s from Era Helicopters. UK-based Bristow took delivery of one EC 225 at Eurocopter’s static display. Eurocopter president and CEO Fabrice Brégier handed over of the aircraft, which is on display throughout the show.
Offshore Logistics, the world’s largest provider of helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry, yesterday ordered 35 new S-76 helicopters. The contract, one of the largest helicopter orders in Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky’s history, is in addition to a previously announced purchase of 12 new S-76s in 2003. The new order includes options for a further 24 S-76 aircraft.
Bristow Group last month announced that it had received an extension of an existing contract with Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) in the North Sea for helicopter transportation services to offshore facilities east and west of the Shetland Islands. In response, the company has exercised options for four more Sikorsky S-92s.
Bristow Helicopters subsidiary Aviashelf has achieved the first certification of a HUMS (health and usage monitoring system) fitted to a Mil Mi-8, by the Russian Federal Aviation Authority.
Bristow Group celebrated its new brand identity with the unveiling of a redecorated S-76 at the Sikorsky Aircraft booth (No. 2537) yesterday. The company was formerly known as Offshore Logistics, but a survey among customers and employees last year confirmed that the Bristow brand name was stronger and should be applied to all the company’s business units, said Bristow president and CEO William Chiles.
The Sikorsky S-92 and Agusta AB139 will be deployed on search-and-rescue (SAR) duties around the UK between next year and 2012. In a surprise announcement early last month, Britain’s Coast Guard revealed that challenger CHC Scotia beat incumbent Bristow Helicopters to the $86 million contract and will run SAR operations at four bases on the south coast of England and to the north of Scotland.
Chevron has awarded a five-year contract to Bristow Helicopters for services in the North Sea and West of Shetland.
The contract is for an initial five-year term starting this month with extension options. It involves the use of a new Eurocopter EC 225, with further provision from Bristow’s pool of AS 332L Tigers (Super Pumas).
It was bound to happen eventually. British International (BI), the company that rose from the ashes of what was once North Sea operator British International Helicopters, is back on the energy-support map. This month it will start flying Shell workers out to an economically promising but politically controversial gas field known as Corrib, 62 miles off the northwestern coast of the county of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
Further details have been announced about the future of the UK’s helicopter search-and-rescue service. From 2012, the Ministry of Defence and Maritime and Coastguard Agency will jointly manage a “harmonized” operation under a private finance initiative, with Royal Navy and Royal Air Force crews working alongside their civilian counterparts in common aircraft types.