HeliHub.com editor note – The EC135 was first shown at Helitech 2009 fully kitted out. At Helitech 2011 we reported that the helicopter had not yet started offshore wind farm operations as expected two years prior, and a further year has now passed. We are pleased to see this finally working on the contract it was kitted out for. Bond’s press release follows :-
Gloucestershire-based Bond Air Services is celebrating the maiden flight in support of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, the first helicopter operation of its kind in the UK.
With a generation capacity of 500MW and a total of 140 turbines, Greater Gabbard wind farm, located 25km off the Suffolk coast, is currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Under the contract, Bond will provide helicopter services to deliver maintenance technicians by hoist to the turbines of the wind farm.
Bond Air Services anticipates that wind farm operators and turbine manufacturers that choose to include helicopters as part of their Operations & Maintenance strategy will ultimately benefit from increased productivity.
Stephen Rose, Offshore Wind Generation Manager at Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited, said: “Safety is our number one priority at all times, and by using helicopters it means that we can get greater access to the turbines in conditions which may have been otherwise impossible by boat.”
David Bond, Commercial Manager for Marine Services at Bond Air Services said: “We’re delighted to have started operations at Greater Gabbard. It marks an important milestone for the company which strengthens our reputation for innovation and reinforces our position as the UK’s market leader in the provision of helicopter services”.
The new helicopter service operates from a purpose-built facility at Lowestoft Port on a seven day per week basis using a Eurocopter EC135T2i.
About Avincis Group
Bond Air Services is part of Avincis Group. Avincis Group is the world’s leading provider of mission critical aviation services. The Group’s mission is to save lives, protect the environment and provide safe transport for mission critical people and assets for public services and blue chip corporations.
Avincis has a global footprint which includes the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Ireland, Norway, Australia, Chile and Peru. The Group operates around 350 rotary and 50 fixed-wing aircraft, from 295 bases in ten countries. Avincis employs almost 3,000 people worldwide and at end 2011 had an annualised turnover of €521 million (£421 million). The Group is headquartered in London.
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