INAER to expand firefighting ops with more W-3A Sokols

INAER to expand firefighting ops with more W-3A Sokols

23-Jun-2011 Source: AgustaWestland

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that PZL-Swidnik has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with INAER of Spain to expand both companies’ businesses in the fire fighting market over the next ten years, in particular in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. The MoU is focused on the specialised W-3A Sokol medium twin helicopter and support services and it is intended to meet INAER’s fleet modernization and expansion plan requirements for fire fighting operations.

Mr. Nicola Bianco, Managing Director, PZL- Swidnik said “It gives us great pleasure to start an evaluation process for the W-3A Sokol medium twin helicopter model for fire fighting with INAER. This customer provides a major contribution for fire fighting campaigns and the Sokol could significantly enhance its operational capabilities. This MoU demonstrates that the the W-3A Sokol helicopter is highly regarded in the fire fighting market and further reinforces the already well established partnership between AgustaWestland and INAER.” Mr. Luis Miñano San Valero, Executive Chairman, INAER commented “The W-3A Sokol is one of the most capable and cost/effective in the twin medium class for fire fighting. Its features make the type one of the most suitable aircraft to meet our fire fighting fleet modernization and expansion requirements and it may guarantee us the same high quality level of service already provided from other AgustaWestland models operated by INAER for a number of roles. With the signature of this MoU INAER confirm the valuable cooperation with AgustaWestland over the last 40 years and includes all AgustaWestland helicopter models, product support and training activities.”

The W-3A Sokol is a 6 ton. Class twin engine helicopter capable of carrying up to 12 passengers plus 2 pilots. Featured by outstanding capabilities, the W-3A has proven to be a very effective, rugged and reliable helicopter in any condition, for a wide range of roles due to its flexibility and the large number of equipments available. The helicopter has been type certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) under Part 29 and by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Part 29. Highly flexible, with significant internal and external cargo capacity, it can perform in a wide range of operations making it an excellent utility helicopter. A low cost to useful load ratio and very easy maintenance operations make the W-3A particularly attractive for operators in a wide range of applications. The versatility of the W-3A allows easy and quick aircraft reconfiguration to allow for operations such as special teams transport for up to 10 persons, Rescue and Medevac operations using rescue hoist, search light, emergency medical kit, fire fighting equipment and special tools transport using the external cargo container and the large baggage compartment. The capability to be fitted with Bambi Bucket or Expandable Belly Tank and the possibility to carry a combination of fire fighters plus equipment makes the W-3A the perfect helicopter to perform fire suppression, containment and clearance operations. Approximately 150 Sokol helicopters have been sold so far to 20 customers in 8 countries. The Sokol can perform a number of roles including military missions, fire fighting, utility, EMS, law enforcement and VIP/corporate transport. INAER helicopter fleet already boasts a large number of AgustaWestland models including more than 60 units of single and light twins such as the AW119Ke, AW109 Power, Grand, GrandNew and A109 series helicopters as well as more than 20 AW139 medium twin engine helicopters. INAER recently also added the all new AW169 light intermediate helicopter to its fleet with an order for an initial batch of 10 units. INAER is a leading European on-shore helicopter service provider and the AgustaWestland helicopters are used to perform various missions including public passenger transportation, Search and Rescue, EMS and fire-fighting. INAER acts as an AgustaWestland Service Centre in various European countries also including Spain, Italy, UK and France to offer on-site support services. The two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2010 for the provision of training services for INAER’s AgustaWestland light twin and medium twin models fleet.

INAER is global leading provider of helicopter emergency services. With more than 45 years of experience and 1,200,000 flight hours, the international company operates in Spain, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Portugal, Chile, Peru and Australia, and today has a fleet of 360 aircraft and more than 2,500 employees. INAER specializes in mission critical operations such as medical emergency services, civil protection, sea and mountain search & rescue, coast and fishing surveillance, firefighting and aircraft maintenance. INAER maintains its leading position thanks to the special attention that INAER dedicates to safety standards in its operations and services, ongoing training for crew and maintenance staff, as well as the flexibility and capacity to quickly adapt to our customer’s requirements. INAER is also characterized by a strong commitment to investment and constant innovation, development and renewal of its fleet.

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