All posts for the month March, 2023

PRESS RELEASE – ATLANTA, GA – Monday, March 06, 2023

The Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), theglobal leader in helicopter leasing, today announced it has signed lease agreements for five helicopters with Aramco.

The agreements include the placement of three Leonardo AW139 helicopters and two Airbus H145 helicopters. All five aircraft are factory new and will be deployed on critical offshoreoil and gas missions in Saudi Arabia with deliveries scheduled throughout 2023.

Milestone’s relationship with Aramco began in 2016 and the addition of these five units brings Aramco’s total helicopter fleet on lease from Milestone to 35 helicopters. Speaking at HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Michael York, the Head of Emerging Markets, Milestone Aviation, said, “Aramco has pioneered offshore oil and gas helicopter operations in the Middle East for decades and we are honored to support Aramco as their trusted leasing partner, as they continue to expand and modernize their fleet.”

  • New aircraft will grow the total number of Bell 407GXis on the PNP’s fleet to seven

PRESS RELEASE – Atlanta, GA (6 March 2023)

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company today announced the signed purchase agreement for four Bell 407GXi aircraft by the Polish National Police (PNP).

The helicopters will be purchased as part of the project “Safer on the roads – aerial supervision over the road traffic,” implemented with the use of funds from the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment. The supplier is JB Investments Limited, Bell’s Independent Representative (IR) for Poland.

The four Bell 407GXi aircraft will join three aircraft of the same type which were delivered to the PNP in October 2020. The PNP also operates two Bell 206s and a Bell 412HP. With a total number of seven Bell 407GXi Polish National Police will become the largest user of this type of helicopter among other public institutions in Europe.

“In recent years, we have strongly focused on improving road safety and to achieve this, we are strengthening the technical potential of our formation. That is why we will want to use these four latest helicopters primarily to improve safety on the Polish roads. Ultimately, we want each of them to be equipped with an aerial observation system,” said Dariusz Augustyniak, deputy chief superintendent, Polish National Police.

As with the aircraft already delivered to the PNP, the new Bell 407GXis will come equipped with the Trakka Systems Total Solution Package which includes a searchlight, camera and moving map as well as downlink system and operator console. The system enables the crew to detect, identify and track vehicles, as well as estimate their speed.

“During the 30 years of our company’s operation, we have already delivered more than 50 aircraft for public tenders for various institutions, including the Polish Police. Now, thanks to our 15 years of experience working with Bell Textron, we have the honor to be a prime contractor for the delivery of another four Bell 407 helicopters,” said Magdalena Karska, board member, JB Investments Limited.

There are now 1,590 Bell 407 operating around the world, with 109 located in Europe. The aircraft has proved popular with parapublic operators, with 131 used globally for this mission.

“The decision by the Polish National Police to grow its fleet of 407GXis is testament to the industry-leading aftermarket service that Bell, and its maintenance partners is able to offer. We recognize the importance of minimizing downtime, and that’s why we work hard to ensure excellent parts availability and technical support for our customers,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, International Sales, Bell.

The Bell 407GXi is powered by a Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 turbine engine featuring two dual-channel FADECs. This high-performance yet fuel efficient engine delivers impressive performance in hot and high conditions and delivers a cruise speed of 133 kts (246 km/h). The aircraft also features the latest Garmin G1000H NXi avionics, featuring high resolution LED displays, faster processing power and the ability to connect to tablets and smartphones.

PRESS RELEASE – Aurora, Oregon: March 7, 2023

Columbia Helicopters, the world’s leading heavy-lift helicopter OEM, MRO, and operator, is pleased to announce it has been selected to provide the Korean Forest Service with a brand-new Columbia Model 234 Multi-Mission Chinook.

The aircraft will be used primarily for firefighting, both during the day and at night using NVGs. It will also provide external cargo lift, transportation services, and disaster response. In addition to the aircraft, the selection includes OEM aircrew and mechanic training, parts, special tools, and ground support equipment.

“We are pleased with the Columbia 234 Multi-Mission Chinook’s lifting and firefighting capabilities as well as how it can be rapidly reconfigured between missions,” says Ko, Ki-Yeon, General Manager. “It is an added benefit that Columbia can supply this helicopter as a brand-new aircraft with ongoing support.”

The world’s largest standard transportation category multi-mission super heavy-lift helicopter, the Columbia Model 234 Multi-Mission Chinook features a 25,000-lb (11,339-kg) lifting capability, internal and external cargo lift options, and 19- to 44-seat passenger capacity.

“The Columbia Model 234 Multi-Mission Chinook is a highly capable and reliable heavy-lift helicopter that can serve a variety of missions, making it cost effective over purchasing a small fleet,” says Michael Tremlett, President of Columbia Helicopters. “As the OEM, we are capable of manufacturing the Korean Forest Service’s helicopter to their exact specifications and provide ongoing support, which was an important factor for them.”

PRESS RELEASE – Atlanta, GA. 7 March 2023

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation invites all rotorcraft enthusiasts to discover the new and improved Enstrom at this year’s HAI HELI-EXPO in Atlanta.

The annual event features networking opportunities and hundreds of education courses with more than 14,000 industry professionals. A lot has changed for Enstrom since last year’s HELI-EXPO. New, visionary ownership has brought about company-wide revitalization.

We are ramping up production and reenergizing our current product line with new features we can’t wait to tell you about. “Enstrom is back and buzzing with activity,” said Incoming President Todd Tetzlaff. “We are looking forward to sharing the latest on our progress and where we are headed with our customers and anyone else who is curious about the new Enstrom.” Todd will be on the show floor this week alongside our new Chief Operating Officer Adam Richardson and new owner Chuck Surack.

We invite all HELI-EXPO guests to come and connect with Enstrom’s new leadership team in booth C2820. Todd, Adam, and Chuck each share a contagious passion for helicopters, a passion that will prove instrumental in crafting Enstrom’s next chapter. Two of Enstrom’s latest helicopter models will also be on display at our booth. We’re preparing to make several major announcements before the HELI-EXPO concludes Thursday. We encourage anyone unable to make it to the show in person to sign up for our newsletter at

PRESS RELEASE – March 4, 2023

EUROPEAN ROTORS is preparing for its biggest show to date, building on the lessons learned from its first two editions. It is expanding from three days to four and moving from its first location in Cologne, Germany.

EUROPEAN ROTORS 2023 will take place in Madrid, Spain, 27–30 November in Hall 9 of the IFEMA MADRID Convention Centre—only 10 minutes from the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (LEMD).

EUROPEAN ROTORS is organised by the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The 2023 event will be hosted by the Spanish Helicopter Association (ATAIRE) and produced by Helicopter Association International (HAI). EUROPEAN ROTORS also benefits from the strong support of market leaders, including Airbus, Bell, Boeing, Leonardo, Pratt & Whitney, Robinson, Safran, and others.

“We could not have been happier with the first two shows, and we know that our attendees and exhibitors agree with this assessment,” says Christian Müller, Chairman of EHA. “But as they say, the third time is the charm. EUROPEAN ROTORS is all about bringing the community together to exchange knowledge, learn from each other, and debate, with one joint goal: to improve safety in vertical aviation operations.”

The extra day of the show, on 27 November, will focus on safety by organising the EASA Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium as a stand-alone event. It remains the flagship of the EUROPEAN ROTORS broad conference programme, presenting the latest rotorcraft and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) developments. The educational programme is augmented by certified training sessions, best-practice seminars, and hands-on presentations in the Rotor Safety Zone and workshops.

“EASA’s primary focus is safe flight throughout the European Union,” says David Solar, Head of the General Aviation and VTOL Department for EASA. “This event allows us to work directly with the manufacturers, suppliers, operators, and individuals in this industry. We use this show to collaborate with everyone on developing the latest and smartest safety programmes.”

Tickets to the EASA Symposium include coffee breaks and a networking evening on 27 November. Symposium attendees will also receive a free three-day pass to the EUROPEAN ROTORS show floor, open from 28–30 November.

The 2022 EUROPEAN ROTORS show featured more than 211 exhibitors from 57 countries, and organisers predict an even larger event in Madrid. “The 2023 show is selling extremely well, with a much larger number of booths already reserved by our previous participants,” says Müller.

A primary feature of the educational programme at EUROPEAN ROTORS remains the three stages with silent conferencing, offering three full days of topics covering all aspects of rotorcraft operations, challenges, and research. The adjoining conference centre is the location for training, workshops, and customer briefings by the industry. In addition, EASA will contribute to other panels and workshops held at the conference centre and on the show floor. In the static display, EASA will co-organise the expanding Rotor Safety Zone, which this year will include ESPN-R hoist group training.

Rotorthon, the EUROPEAN ROTORS talent event, will take place again this year. This educational programme for students, including online and in-person teams, challenges them to innovate and solve various pressing issues in the VTOL industry. Example topics are concepts for the next generation of VTOLs, public acceptance of urban mobility, support for disaster relief, joint use of drones and rotorcraft for the same mission, and much more. Information as to the 2023 Rotorthon programme will be available soon. This year, more teams will be allowed to apply, and the selection of the three finalist teams for each challenge will include public votes posted via social media.

EUROPEAN ROTORS continues to cover all aspects of the rotorcraft industry—its many stakeholders, new technologies, innovations, and methodologies. Mission types include helicopter air ambulance and search and rescue, police and public safety, aerial work and disaster relief, passenger transport, and smart urban air mobility.

Exhibitors at HAI HELI-EXPO 2023 are encouraged to visit the EUROPEAN ROTORS sales lounge at Booth #B4457 during the show to learn about all the additional opportunities. “We invite everyone interested in our unique event to come by and learn more,” says Müller. “They will see that we are getting close to filling our space, and we have a special 10 % discount for exhibitors who book their booth during HAI HELI-EXPO.” This offer ends on March 9.


EUROPEAN ROTORS: The VTOL Show and Safety Conference brings together every aspect of the rotorcraft industry in Europe. The event sees the European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) coming together to bring to the VTOL industry its most significant trade event outside of the United States. With three parallel conference streams and dedicated areas for eVTOL, autonomous operations, and other key future technologies, EUROPEAN ROTORS is already the go-to event for European suppliers of rotorcraft, parts, services, and every other aspect of the industry.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome, 03 March 2023

  • The helicopters will be delivered to prime operators Babcock, CQ Rescue and StarFlight Australia, to carry out HEMS and Search and Rescue missions
  • The AW139 has been chosen by several operators in Australia in recent years, with a fleet of over 60 units operating in HEMS/SAR, law enforcement, offshore and government duties
  • Leonardo has announced further growth in presence of the AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter in Australia at Avalon, with orders for a total of six aircraft by three different prime operators: Babcock Australasia (Babcock), RACQ CQ Rescue (CQ Rescue) and StarFlight Australia. All six aircraft will be delivered from Leonardo’s Vergiate final assembly line facility in Italy during 2024.

The two AW139 platforms ordered by Babcock will carry out a range of HEMS, Search and Rescue and Inter-Hospital Patient Transport missions on behalf of an undisclosed client.

The AW139 platforms will be delivered in 2024 and will commence service in the second half of the year, following dedicated mission customisation performed locally. The new aircraft will feature a wide range of tailored equipment including: 4-axis DAFCS (Digital Automatic Flight Control System) autopilot enhanced with Hover Mode; brand new Avionic Phase 8; TCAS II (Traffic Collision Avoidance System); searchlight; camera; wire cutter; and rescue hoist, among others. This new order will bring the total Babcock AW139 fleet to nine, as they already operate seven AW139s in Australia on behalf of Air Ambulance Victoria and RACQ CapRescue. Babcock’s Managing Director Aviation & Critical Services Peter Newington said expanding Babcock’s fleet of AW139 helicopters will bring enhanced capability across its contracts. “The AW139 aircraft provides increased speed range and operational capability which is essential for the vast distance and challenging terrains across Australia.”

The two AW139 platforms ordered by CQ Rescue will be used in the Mackay region of Central Queensland to perform both on-shore and off-shore EMS/SAR missions day and night and in most weather conditions.

The aircraft will feature the latest in product enhancement, technology and mission capability such as advanced avionics including the latest night vision goggle capability, search and weather radar and the latest in communications to support CQ Rescue’s extensive mission requirements. Thanks to the new AW139s, CQ Rescue will fly twice as far and with a 30% increase in mission speed compared to the previous helicopters, reaching remote and rural communities faster than ever before. The AW139s are expected to be delivered in the second quarter 2024 and will enter service prior to the end of year. The CEO of CQ Rescue, Tim Healee, expresses: “The AW139 is one of the most reliable platforms in the industry. The aeromedical service we deliver and type of missions we complete are unique, being very time consuming and over long distances. The AW139s will deliver enormous benefits to our service including new generation avionics, superior performance, proven technology, and exceptional safety features.” He also added: “This incredible acquisition of two state-of-the-art aircraft is only possible because of the generous support we receive from our community, our corporate supporters and the Queensland Government”.

StarFlight Australia’s order consists of two AW139s that will be operated in Queensland and other parts of Australia, carrying out EMS/SAR missions in both on shore and off shore capacities.

The new aircraft featuring all the latest avionics technology, patient care and search and rescue capability are expected to be delivered in late 2024 and will enter service following local inclusions and modifications required for the mission sector. This new order will bring the total of AW139s operated by the StarFlight and LifeFlight groups to 15, nine of which are dedicated to EMS/SAR missions. StarFlight Australia CEO and Director, Ashley van de Velde, says: “StarFlight Australia is pleased to have finalised the purchase of two new AW139 helicopters which will be utilised for future work. We already operate a number of these aircraft in our fleet and are constantly impressed with their reliability, quality, and serviceability. The features, technology, size, and all-round advanced capabilities [that] the AW139s offer, make these aircraft ideal for our requirements. Their versatility and readiness for various configurations also aid us in delivering tailor-made aviation solutions to our clients.”

With more than 1,130 units in service for over 280 customers in around 90 nations, and over 3.6 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, the AW139 has also proven extremely successful for rescue and emergency missions. The AW139 delivers outstanding capabilities, technology, and safety to meet stringent requirements from operators for tasks in harsh conditions to maximize effectiveness. This type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins, and overall performance; the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration; a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety; and up to 1000 certified kits.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  01 March 2023

  • The helicopters will supplement a fleet of three AW139s currently supporting a range of activities including pilot and aircrew officer training, utility support to ADF exercises and emergency response and disaster relief missions
  • With over 60 aircraft selected by multiple operators in Australia, the AW139 is chosen for its suitability across a wide range of roles including Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), law enforcement, offshore and defence
  • The AW139 has proven to be extremely successful platforms with military forces worldwide. It has developed an enviable reputation for its performance in Search and Rescue, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), special operations, homeland security, slow mover intercept, advanced training, utility and transport.

Leonardo announced today, the expansion of its fleet of AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters in Australia with an order for two aircraft by the leading helicopter operator Toll Helicopters (Toll).

The helicopters will supplement a fleet of three AW139s currently supporting a range of activities including pilot and aircrew officer training, utility support to ADF exercises and emergency response and disaster relief missions. They will be delivered from Leonardo’s Vergiate final assembly line facility in Italy in the second half of 2023 and bring Toll’s fleet of AW139’s to a total of 12.

The newly purchased AW139s will support Toll Helicopters contract delivery across two programs, a Crash Response Helicopter Service for the 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin and the Army Commercial Helicopter program currently based out of the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. The aircraft features searchlight, hoist, cargo hook, provisions for EO/IR equipment, to support a range of training and emergency response and disaster relief missions.

The AW139 has been sold by Leonardo in several State Government of the country to carry out a range of law enforcement, patrol and surveillance, maritime search and rescue missions and policing operations. This helicopters is ideal for law enforcement, EMS and parapublic missions thanks to its capability, reliability and safety. A fleet of over 60 units performs all of these missions today in Australia in addition to energy support and transport. 

With more than 1,130 units in service with over 280 customers in around 90 nations and over 3.6 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, the AW139 has also proven extremely successful among military operators worldwide for a wide range of roles including SAR, MEDEVAC, special operations, homeland security, slow mover intercept, advanced training, utility and transport. The AW139 delivers outstanding capabilities, technology and safety to meet stringent requirements from operators for tasks in harsh conditions to maximize effectiveness. The type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins and overall performance, the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration, a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety and up to 1000 certified kits. 

Toll Helicopters, headquartered in Brisbane, is an experienced provider of specialised mission-critical helicopter services and training for Government, Defence and the civil sector, specialized in helicopter emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, airborne law enforcement, training and logistics support. Toll is a Leonardo Authorised Training Centre with the only OEM-approved AW139 Full Flight Simulator in the Oceania region.

(ANSA) – ROMA, 01 MAR 2023


Ancala Partners, investitore esperto in infrastrutture critiche, ha completato l’acquisizione dei servizi di emergenza aerea di Babcock in Spagna, Portogallo, Italia, Norvegia, Svezia e Finlandia per conto dei suoi fondi gestiti, per 136,2 milioni di euro.

Lo si legge in una nota secondo cui l’azienda, che si chiamerà “Avincis”, fornisce servizi di emergenza medica, antincendio e di ricerca e soccorso, sulla base di contratti siglati con i governi locali e nazionali.

Gestisce una flotta di oltre 220 aeromobili, di cui circa la metà di proprietà, in oltre 160 sedi operative.
Avincis sarà guidata dall’Amministratore Delegato entrante John Boag, che conta 38 anni di esperienza nel settore dell’aviazione, in Australia, Europa, Asia e Nord e Sud America.
In precedenza, è stato Ceo di Cobham Aviation Services Australia, una compagnia aerea che fornisce soluzioni specializzate per l’aviazione a clienti governativi e commerciali. Prima di Cobham, è stato amministratore delegato della Australasian Aviation Division di Babcock International. (Fonte ANSA).