24-Feb-2010 Source: Sikorsky
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today commended PHI Inc. for taking the lead on developing technology that improves air traffic control safety and efficiency for S-92Â® helicopters serving PHI’s Gulf of Mexico oil customers. Sikorsky collaborated on developing the technology and announced the advances at the Heli-Expo aerospace show in Houston, Texas. PHI (Nasdaq: PHII and PHIIK) is a helicopter transportation and services company; Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX)
The new S-92 helicopter Automatic Dependent Surveillance â€“ Broadcast (ADS-B) capability enables air traffic controllers to maintain a consistent five-mile distance between helicopters operating in the Gulf of Mexico, rather than the previous 20-mile spacing, which forced some pilots to take circuitous routes. An ADS-B equipped aircraft automatically transmits its position and other pertinent information to land-based receivers, which then relay the information to the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic control center in Houston for tracking and directing air traffic. This increases the FAA’s capacity and can translate into improved on-time performance and efficiency for helicopter operators and the oil workers they shuttle to and from platforms in the Gulf.
PHI provided the ADS-B installation design and certification, while Sikorsky provided the S-92 aircraft technical data and system architecture capable of adapting to the ADS-B features. “PHI took the lead and worked with Sikorsky to bring ADS-B capability to offshore operations in the Gulf, and we are looking forward to offering this ground-breaking technology on more S-92 helicopters in the future,” said Shane Eddy, Vice President of the Sikorsky Global Helicopters business of Sikorsky Aircraft.
This joint effort allowed PHI to be the first helicopter operator to field an ADS-B equipped aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico. “Being the first to conduct ADS-B flights over the Gulf of Mexico is a historic achievement and one in which we are proud to have been able to work so closely with Sikorsky,” explained Lance Bospflug, Chief Operating Officer, PHI Inc.
PHI Inc., based in Lafayette, La., provides helicopter transportation and related services to a broad range of customers including the oil and gas industry and the air medical industry, and also provides third-party maintenance services to select customers.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.