• Airbus Helicopters H160. (Airbus Helicopters)
    Airbus Helicopters H160. (Airbus Helicopters)

Airbus Helicopters today announced that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had approved the next-generation H160 for operations in Australia.

Airbus made the announcement on Day One of the RotorTech exhibition on the Gold Coast.

"We are excited about the H160 certification from CASA, which underscores Australia’s confidence and trust in our product,” said Christian Venzal, Airbus Helicopters Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand.

“This achievement also paves the way to the aircraft’s entry into service in the country. The innovative H160 sets a new benchmark in terms of safety, comfort, and environmental performance. We look forward to seeing the first H160 gracing Australia’s sky soon!” 

The H160 is a twin-engined helicopter capable of carrying up to 12 passengers. It is powered by two Safran Arrano 1A turbines that give the aircraft a recommended cruise speed of 137 knots and a maximum endurance of 4.5 hours.

Airbus dsigned the H160 with  several new technologies, including noise-reducing Blue Edge rotor blades, a canted Fenestron tail rotor and Helionix avionics suite for reduced pilot workload.

"It is uniquely equipped to meet the needs of pilots and technicians across all mission segments," the announcement states. "It delivers added value for customers through enhanced performance and availability, economic competitiveness, innovation, safety, and comfort."

PHI Aviation, which provides aeromedical services for the oil and gas industry, welcomed the CASA approval for the H160.

"This is an exciting time as we bring forth new technology for more safe and efficient operations," said Cory Latiolais, PHI Aviation's Pacific Region Chief Operating Officer.

"With our recent Airbus global framework purchasing agreement that includes the H160, we believe this aircraft is perfectly suited for Australian conditions, and will be specifically competitive for offshore transport, HEMS or SAR missions."

There are currently 30 H160s operating in several countries including Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the USA. Globally, the H160 fleet has accumulated more than 5000 flight hours in under three years. 

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