Babcock agrees $288m contract with Queensland government


Babcock International has been chosen to provide emergency helicopter services by the Queensland government, Australia. The deal will see two Leonardo AW139 helicopters deployed on missions in the Torres Strait and Northern Cape York Peninsula of Australia.

The helicoptors will operate from Horn Island to provide 24/7 services across the region including aeromedical retrieval and search and rescue (SAR) flights. The aircraft will also undertake missions requested by a range of government departments, including Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Police.

Continuing a 15-year relationship between Babcock and the Queensland government, the new contract will run for 12 years. Each helicopter’s cabin will incorporate the latest aeromedical configuration including roll-on-roll-off stretchers as used by Queensland Ambulance Service. They will also be fitted with a winch and a Wescam MX-15 Electro Optic/Infra-Red camera for SAR missions.

Peter Newington, MD, Aviation & Critical Services, Babcock, Australia, said introducing the AW139s represents “a step change” in the capability to Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Health’s service in the Torres Strait. “The new aircraft type and role equipment will give the local community access to improved patient care and enhanced SAR capability, a critical service in the island community,” he said.

Babcock has operated in the remote Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula regions for more than 27 years, ensuring access to emergency medical services (EMS) for some of the hardest-to-reach communities, he added. “Our experience in the region gives us a unique understanding of the tasks and their interaction with the challenging environment due to the cluster of small islands, and ever-changing weather conditions.”

In addition to EMS and SAR missions, the new deal will help to deliver opportunities for local business growth, according to Babcock.