The world’s leading helicopter manufacturer, Eurocopter, is to provide a major boost to Australia’s booming off-shore oil and gas industry with the commissioning of a modern facility in Perth to support customer helicopters operating within Western Australia’s North-West Shelf region.
At present, several companies operate more than 25 17/19-passenger helicopters of Eurocopter’s Super Puma family. The aircraft provide airlift supply and personnel transport operations for what is Australia’s largest oil and gas resource development. With prompt, safe and effective support services readily at hand; this development is expected to significantly grow over the next three to four years.
The Perth Support Centre, established in the suburb of Canning Vale between Perth and Jandakot airports, comprises more than 720m2 of office, training, maintenance and warehousing facilities. Set up and managed by Eurocopter’s local subsidiary in the Australia-Pacific region, Australian Aerospace Limited, it will provide:
• warehousing for stock on consignment and additional spare parts,
• local training for customer pilots,
• light maintenance and repair operations, and
• technical support.
Commenting at the formal opening of the Support Centre this week, Olivier Lambert, Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations Eurocopter, said that Western Australia’s isolation from Europe, compounded by the vast and remote area in which the Eurocopter helicopters operate, gave rise to the opportunity for Eurocopter to provide customers with in-country, close-proximity support facilities to ensure their continued success.
“With this facility, we are able to demonstrate to our customers and the booming resource industry, Eurocopter’s commitment to the development of what is one of the world’s fastest growing oil and gas regions”.
“The Perth Support Facility will benefit all local Eurocopter customers. The Western Australia Police, for example, has been operating Eurocopter aircraft in the community for more than 25 years and recently added a new AS365N3+ to the fleet. Many Eurocopter operators are loyal, long-term customers and fly products including the AS350 and the EC135. Eurocopter is set to deliver an EC130T2 to Perth, the first to be delivered in Australia-Pacific”, Mr Lambert said.
Operators in other parts of the world often have access to ready sources of local support. The ongoing success of the current fleet in Western Australia is critical to ensure the future growth of Eurocopter product operations there and to prepare for the introduction of next-generation helicopters like the EC175.
Robert Holtsbaum, Vice President Civil Helicopters, Legal and Procurement Australian Aerospace heralded the opening as a sign of the region’s importance in the helicopter market. “The Perth Support Centre provides a win-win solution which, we believe, will bring indisputable added value to our customers. It will be achieved through the cooperative partnership of Eurocopter and Australian Aerospace,” he said.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
About Australian Aerospace:
With more than 1100 staff in Australia and New Zealand, Australian Aerospace has access to the financial strength and expertise of Eurocopter and the EADS Group.
At its production facility on Brisbane Airport, Australian Aerospace is currently assembling and delivering 46 MRH90 multi-role helicopters for the Army and Navy and supporting 22 Tiger ARH armed reconnaissance helicopters for the Australian Army.
The company supports more than 400 Eurocopter helicopters in the Australia-Pacific region and is well positioned to deliver and support helicopters through a network of local facilities.
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