Eurocopter UK boss talks at Helitech
Eurocopter UK displayed an EC145T2 on their
stand in the exhibition hall at Helitech. Markus Steinke, managing director of
had great hopes for the new helicopter and that the aircraft might attract
interest from VIP corporate operators, this optimism was based on the extra
technology, the new safety features, the modern design and the look of the
helicopter. Up to now the EC145 has only been seen as a helicopter used by
parapublic operators such as air ambulance, police or security services.
He said the corporate and VIP helicopter
market had suffered with finance being hard to come by and the helicopter as a
form of transport getting a bad press from some quarters of the media.
“The EC145 T2 continues Eurocopter’s success
story based on its proven EC145, bringing the ideal solution to efficiently
further support UK
emergency services in both coastal and on-shore scenarios,” said Markus Steinke.
“In addition, we have a wide network in place encompassing a full range of
services such as maintenance, technical and logistical support as well as
training, which guarantees efficient onshore support solutions for any missions
in the context of national resilience, such as SAR and fire rescue.”
The aircraft has been tested over the past
year by the UK Fire and Rescue service and hopefully demonstrates the cost
effectiveness of having full time air support to the service, The EC145T2 has
already attracted five launch customers including Inaer and Metro Aviation and
the first aircraft should be delivered to the first customers in 2014.
In the police and EMS markets, Steinke said
that he believed the more modern T2 was likely to ‘complement’ in-service EC135
and EC145 helicopters and would be incorporated into current fleets, working
alongside the earlier models.
He continued and said that the recent
acquisition of Vector Aerospace by Eurocopter has strengthened the UK
afiliate’s position in the country. Eurocopter have 75 percent share of all
helicopters operated by the emergency services and police in the UK, around a
total fleet of 50 EC135 and EC145 helicopters. Steinke stressed that Vector
Aerospace will remain a separate entity in the Eurocopter Group, continuing to
service other manufacturers helicopters and engines for the UK armed services
and others at the Vector Aerospace Fleetlands base.