BAN's World GazetteerFrance
Skycam Helicoptères of Archamps, France, has updated its EC130 fleet to include the latest EC130 T2. “Our fleet is mainly composed of last generation helicopters, so it felt natural to be one of the first in Europe to get the new type,” says ceo Gilbert Schweitzer. “On top of this, we have a really good knowledge of this helicopter as we have been flying and managing several EC130s over the last 10 years.”
Schweitzer remarks that the advertised performance capabilities are being fulfilled and that the operator is exceptionally satisfied with its latest arrival as it perfectly suits requirements in terms of power and safety. “Such characteristics are essential for mountain flights, and as Skycam Helicoptères is based in the Alps, most of our winter flights are to ski resorts,” he continues.
In addition to the significant power output of the EC130 T2, it is said to offer superior inflight comfort, with a reduced vibration level for pilot and passengers. It also has improved air conditioning, and sliding doors which make embarking and disembarking easier.
The operator specialises in vip flights and flies many customers to luxury hotels or chalets for the winter ski season. Most of its customers transit through its private heli-station in Archamps. Since restrictions increased at Geneva airport with fewer helicopter slots available, clients can fly from Archamps after a short 10-minute drive. As well as the most recent fleet addition, Skycam operates a 2011-built AS350 B2+, EC 130 B4, AS 355 N, several Agusta 109 SP, and currently positions two EC155 B1 at Chambery and Annecy airports, strengthening its strategic position in the Alps.
Adds Schweitzer: “We fly clients after their arrival, which is usually by private jet, and then back after their holidays.
“We fly to the most renowned ski resorts such as Courchevel and Gstaad. By helicopter a transfer to the slopes can be done in a matter of minutes, which of course is not the case if you have to drive there!”
The role of the helicopter is especially critical for clients with fully booked agendas whose time is precious. “For these clients, the helicopter is the perfect way of travelling,” he says. “Last but not least, flying over the mountains with a view of Mont-Blanc is quite an experience.”
Aside from the business generated through the winter, the company manages aircraft throughout the year and conducts flight training – it has an ATO agreement – and insures all the maintenance required to keep the fleet airworthy and secure, along with its Part M agreement (CAMO department) and Part 145 maintenance centre Sky Maintenance Services.
Skycam Helicoptères was founded in 2004 and forms part of the umbrella organisation SkyGroup, which includes Monacair and Sky Maintenance Services.