Metro Aviation orders five SH09s
Swiss helicopter manufacturer Kopter has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Metro Aviation to take delivery of five SH09 helicopters following the aircraft’s FAA certification.
The five-aircraft order brings Kopter’s prospective orderbook for the SH09 to 70 aircraft (plus a further 100 Letters of Intent)
Andreas Löwenstein, CEO of Kopter Group, said: “I am tremendously pleased to bring our cooperation with Metro Aviation to this new level and I am equally very proud that our helicopter is now slated to be included in the future fleet of an operator such as Metro Aviation which is recognized globally for its high level of expertise and service.”
Metro Aviation has been working closely with Kopter since the early-stages of the SH09’s development, helping design several interior layouts for the helicopter, including those needed for EMS, law enforcement and tour options.
Metro Aviation president Mike Stanberry said: “We have become more familiar with the SH09 concept and we’ve worked in conjunction with Kopter to develop interiors for EMS, Airborne Law Enforcement and Tour Operations, which Metro has rolled out to the industry in the last two years.
“Those interiors were very well received by the industry. The benefits of a twin-engine cabin with the purchase price and operation cost of a single-engine aircraft, along with exceptional performance, make the SH09 a very attractive option. It made sense for us to move forward with the MoA expressing our intent to purchase at this time.”
Kopter is undertaking a flight-test campaign for its third SH09 prototype, the SH09 P3. The aircraft is averaging nine test flights per week in Pozzallo, Sicily. Kopter is also gearing up on the development of the next prototype, the Pre-Series 4 (PS4) which is expected to be flying this year.
Kopter is planning to roll out its aircraft across the USA and Asia Pacific over the next four years in anticipation of strong demand in those regions.
The Swiss company took the first steps towards this goal in March with the leasing an 84,700 square-foot helicopter assembly facility at Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana. The facility was previously leased by Bell before it shut its doors in August 2018.
“Metro Aviation is very highly regarded in the industry for its innovation and its constant and uncompromising dedication to customer service. Its intent to purchase 5 of our aircraft brings a great deal of pride to our company, to our U.S. operations and to all our employees.
“Our goal will be to ensure that Metro Aviation can continue to provide its high level of customer service while operating these helicopters” said Larry Roberts, President Sales, Marketing, Customer Support of Kopter North America.