25-Feb-2014 Source: Airbus Helicopters
After operating a fleet of three different helicopters for more than a decade, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety decided to consolidate by buying an AS350B3e AStar from Airbus Helicopters Inc.
The AS350B3e was chosen over the competition as the aircraft best suited for multiple missions, including patrol, drug eradication and hurricane support. Mississippi DPS sold its aging helicopter fleet to provide funding for the purchase of the new AS350B3e.
“Choosing the AS350B3e was an easy decision,” said Captain Ron Kelley, Director of Air Operations for Mississippi DPS and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “The AS350 cockpit size and layout is unmatched by any other aircraft on the single engine market. Operating costs are significantly lower and the initial purchase price is drastically less than the competitors, making this decision a no brainer. We definitely get more bang for the buck with the AS350B3e.”
Airbus Helicopters Inc. leads in sales of new helicopters to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, maintaining a 56 percent U.S. market share over the last decade. The spacious cabin and numerous modern safety features of the AS350-series, including energy-attenuating seats and dual-screen Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD), make the AStar an industry leader in technology and capability. The ability to install nearly any type of equipment on the AS350B3e for multi-mission flexibility makes it a favorite with law enforcement agencies.
“Not only is the AS350B3e the helicopter of choice for Mississippi DPS, it is also the top choice of airborne Law Enforcement in the United States. There are more than 200 AStars currently in service,” said Ed Van Winkle, Airbus Helicopters Inc. Sales Manager for Airborne Law Enforcement. “The AS350B3e offers high performance with the multi-mission capability needed by law enforcement.”
Mississippi DPS took ownership of its new AS350B3e, which was produced at the Airbus Helicopters Inc. plant in Columbus, Miss., in January. The aircraft is now undergoing completion at Airbus Helicopters Inc. headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a final delivery scheduled for late spring.
About Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.