Sûreté du Québec, regularly abbreviated as SQ, is the provincial police service for the Canadian province of Quebec. The force has a history of operating Bell helicopters for many years, partly as a way of demonstrating support for the factory at Mirabel. But not now.
SQ have surprised many observers by not just moving away from Bell, but also in acquiring a pre-owned helicopter. The local Journal de Montreal newspaper quotes Bell spokesperson Patricia Bergeron saying “We were surprised to learn that a Quebec builder had not been considered and that there had been no call for tenders”.
However, Émilie Lord for the Quebec Ministry of Transport (responsible for the Government air fleet) countered with “The helicopter could be in service by the end of the year, rather than two or three years from now for a new aircraft when you take into account the tendering process, construction deadlines. .] and delivery”.
The H145 replaces a Bell 206LT TwinRanger, which SQ acquired in 1994 and which suffered a serious accident in January 2020. They also fly a Bell 206B JetRanger purchased in 1980 (made in Texas, given the Mirabel plant opened in 1986) and a Bell 412 added to the fleet in 2002.
It should also be borne in mind that the Province of Quebec also has a commitment to support Airbus after the European company took over the Bombardier CSeries airliner, now renamed the Airbus A220, which is also built at Montreal’s Mirabel Airport.
Data from Parapex Media shows that the aircraft involved is MSN 20091, previously operated in Italy by Elifriulia
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com