• An artists impression of a TSA Islander. (Britten-Norman)
    An artists impression of a TSA Islander. (Britten-Norman)

Indigenous-owned airline Torres Strait Air (TSA) has announced a fleet renewal program estimated to be worth around $45 million.

The investment will see up to 10 new Britten-Norman Islanders and five new Tecnam P2012 Travellers delivered to the airline over the next five years.

The new aircraft are expected to replace legacy BN-2s and Aero Commander Shrike currently operating from the airline's Horn Island base.

TSA CEO and Managing Director Daniel Takai signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Britten-Norman for new aircraft worth $25 million with the capability of being upgraded to hydrogen-electric propulsion once the technology becomes available.

“Our commitment to this investment is for the people of Torres Strait and their future," Takai said. "The world is challenged with increasing sea levels, our island communities, our people’s homes, are at sea level, every effort must be made to offset carbon emission.

"We act now whilst continuing to provide the highest levels of aviation safety, comfort, efficiency, reliability and affordability to our people and those who come to our pristine waters and beautiful Islands.”

The Islanders will be among the first delivered from the repatriated Britten-Norman plant at Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight. 

TSA expects to take on the first aircraft in June next year.

The five Tecnam P2012 Travellers ordered include two initial aircraft with an option for three more STOL versions once that model is certified later this year.

"We are delighted to be able to support TSA in it's quest to provide a safe, reliable and cost-effective aviation platform to service the Torres Strait Island communities," said Michael Loccisano, CEO of local agent Hallmarc Aviation.

"The Tecnam Traveller is a proven performer in many other island communities world-wide. We look forward to supporting TSA for many years to come with our strong focus on customer support."

The first Travellers, to be delivered in March next year, will be the first of type to enter operational service in Australia.

TSA currently operates nine aircraft including seven Islanders on air transport and charter operations within the Torres Strait and southern PNG.

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