Western Power Distribution (WPD) has signed a purchase agreement for a new EC135 P2e from Airbus Helicopters UK. The aircraft, selected against a demanding requirement, will join WPD’s four current EC135 P1s, making it one of the largest, independent fleets in the UK.
Robin Tutcher, WPD’s Helicopter Unit Manager said: “Augmenting the existing fleet has become a necessity because our helicopters play a major role in assisting with the fault diagnosis, maintenance and the management of the WPD electricity network. This additional aircraft will help us to increase our current annual flying levels from 2,800 to 3,500 hours.
“With a proven track record, minimal downtime and limited maintenance input which is complemented by ongoing support from the Airbus PBH and Pratt and Whitney FMP programmes, the selection of the EC135 P2 as our fifth aircraft was a straightforward decision.”
Due to be delivered in March 2015, the EC135 P2e meets WPD’s tough requirements thanks to its extended range and simple, multi-purpose design which allows for fast and easy maintenance and optimal dispatch reliability.
Scarcely two weeks after the order by another customer for two EC135 T3 for the Air Ambulance role, the selection by WPD strengthens Airbus Helicopters position as the market leader in National Resilience with 70% of the market.
“The increased capability EC135 P2e provides WPD with an aircraft to meet their most critical mission requirements, directly supporting them to keep their 7.8 million customers on line,” said Colin James, Managing Director at Airbus Helicopters UK. “As the UK’s premium rotorcraft supplier, it is very important for us to be supporting our country’s infrastructure providers where we can. We will ensure that WPD continues to benefit from an aircraft and a support service which guarantees the very highest levels of availability.”
About Western Power Distribution
Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West England and South Wales, and is responsible for delivering electricity to approximately 7.8 million customers in the UK. WPD is not an electricity supply company and does not bill customers in the UK. Its responsibility is to distribute electricity from the point of generation to homes and businesses.
About Airbus Helicopters UK Limited
Airbus Helicopters UK Limited – Britain’s civil helicopter hub – and its predecessors have been present and highly active in the United Kingdom for 40 years, dominating the civil rotary-wing sector. Its contribution to the aerospace sector of the national economy includes the development of police aviation with a 75 percent market share, a 70 percent share of the air ambulance sector, and well over 50 percent of the offshore oil and gas market.
Airbus Helicopters UK Limited is headquartered in Oxford, with additional bases in Dublin (Ireland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Hawarden (Wales) and Aberdeen (Scotland) and provides the full range of products and services for the rotary-wing sector, including prime contractor for the RAF Puma Mk2 upgrade and support programmes.Some 450 Airbus helicopters form the largest part of the UK’s helicopter fleet and the backbone of vital national infrastructure, with approximately 100 helicopters serving the UK Ministry of Defence for transport, training and high end operational missions. To date, Airbus Helicopters UK Limited has exported high technology helicopter solutions to 23 nations worldwide. The Airbus group employs more than 1500 people across the British Isles.
About Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company’s fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries. Airbus Helicopters’ international presence is marked by its customer centers and participations in 21 countries, and its worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents. Airbus Helicopters’ range of civil and military helicopters is the world’s largest; its aircraft account for one third of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. The company’s chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who fly more than 3 million hours per year.
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