10-Jan-2012 Source: AgustaWestland
Editor note – HeliHub.com broke the story of new AgustaWestland AW109SP for Doctor Heli back in August 2011Â – see story
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Kaigai Aviotech Corporation are pleased to announce that Kagoshima International Aviation of Japan has taken delivery of a GrandNew light twin helicopter. This aircraft will be used to perform emergency medical service missions in the Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan. A ceremony was held in Kagoshima on 26th December 2011, in presence of the Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture and the Mayor of Kagoshima City, to celebrate the entry into service of the aircraft. This purchase is part of the Doctor Heli system programme which is intended to provide modern airborne EMS coverage to all prefectures in Japan.
This handover marks the entrance of the first EMS-configured GrandNew helicopter in the Japanese market and continues the growing success of the GrandNew and AgustaWestlandâ€™s other light twin helicopters in Japan. The GrandNew was chosen by the customer after a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process to ensure it could meet its demanding mission and safety requirements. Kagoshima International Aviationâ€™s GrandNew features a comprehensive EMS configuration with a cabin layout able to accommodate two litters plus medical attendants. Additionally, an AW109 Power in the same EMS cabin configuration will serve as a back-up for the GrandNewâ€™s operation. The GrandNew features the most modern developments in avionics while retaining the Grandâ€™s outstanding performance and features. The GrandNew is the first type certified light twin (CS/JAR/FAR 27) to enter service with a new EFIS featuring Synthetic Vision and the first helicopter in this class that fully complies with the latest advanced global positioning system-based navigation requirements for all weather operations. The GrandNew offers operators unprecedented abilities to exploit the advantages of a helicopter. Orders for more than 300 helicopters from the Grand series have been placed by over 180 customers in almost 40 countries worldwide, to perform many tasks including EMS, SAR, electronic newsgathering, VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, harbour pilot shuttle, maritime patrol and water pollution monitoring.
AgustaWestland’s success in the Japanese commercial helicopter market continues to grow with strong sales in recent years across its complete product range. AgustaWestland opened a new regional business headquarters in Tokyo in 2008 in support of its growing business in Japan. The commercial helicopter fleet in Japan is also supported by three official service centres, which provide maintenance and repair services, and by a spare parts centre headquartered at the Tokyo Heliport. Kagoshima International Aviation, a subsidiary of Iwasaki Corporation, is an aircraft operating company located at Kagoshima Airport. Established in 1972, it provides a variety of operational services, such as disaster relief support for Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures, electronic news gathering for local broadcasting companies, pilot and technician training for governmental agencies and now also emergency medical services. Its capabilities also include aircraft maintenance, repair and modification services.
Additional Note – this is serial 22256 registration JA01KG