In the absence of any official announcement from Leonardo Helicopters, we can confirm that operator Bristow Helicopter has announced the EASA approval of the Full Ice Protection System for the AgustaWestland AW189. In an SEC filing, they state the following:-
On Wednesday, June 29, 2016, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Major Change Approval to Leonardo S.p.A. (also known as Leonardo – Finmeccanica S.p.A. and AgustaWestland) (“ Leonardo ”) certifying that the type design change for the AW189 Full Icing Protection System (FIPS) in accordance with NDC189G3000-002 meets the applicable Type Certification Basis and environmental protection requirements when operated within the conditions and limitations set forth in such Major Change Approval.
As a result of the issuance of the Major Change Approval by EASA, the Company expects that Bristow Helicopters will be able to deliver the contracted solution of 11 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and 11 Leonardo AW189 helicopters under the Agreement following a transition period and subject to standard delivery and acceptance inspections confirming the compliance of the Leonardo AW189 helicopters with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.
Bristow have so far taken delivery of three SAR AW189s of the eleven they have ordered. The company has substituted four Sikorsky S92 and four AgustaWestland AW139 aircraft to provide cover, and it is expected that the AW189s will gradually take over from these over the next 24 months.
A Bristow spokesperson said: “Bristow Helicopters continues to work with AgustaWestland in preparation for bringing the AW189 into the search and rescue role at the UK-intended bases. Bristow has developed a transition plan which anticipates launching the first AW189 base at Lee-On-Solent on 1 April 2017.”
Bristow also operate two AW189s on offshore rig support work from Norwich Airport.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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