Civil Helicopters News

Babcock to Operate AW139s in North Australia

Babcock to Operate AW139s in North Australia

Babcock will operate two Leonardo AW139 helicopters on emergency helicopter services in the Torres Strait and Northern Cape York Peninsula in far north Australia, after securing a 12-year contract worth USD$288 million from the Queensland Government.

Babcock has worked for the Queensland Government in the Torres Strait for the last 15 years, currently operating two Bell 412s. The two AW139s will arrive in 2024, with the services expected to be operational by the second half of next year.

Under the new contract, the AW139s will operate from Horn Island, providing 24/7 services across the region, including aeromedical retrieval and search and rescue. They will also be available for use by other government departments, including the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Police.

The AW139s will provide increased speed, range and operational capability compared with their predecessors. Babcock said the cabins will be modified in Queensland and will incorporate the latest aeromedical configuration, including roll-on-roll-off stretchers. The AW139s will also feature a winch and a Wescam MX-15 Electro Optic/Infra-Red Camera for search and rescue (SAR) operations.

Babcock has operated in the remote region for more than 27 years and is experienced in the area’s challenging environment, which includes a cluster of small islands and ever-changing weather conditions, said Babcock managing director aviation and critical services, Peter Newington.

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