Hong Kong-based Government Flying Service (GFS) has received three H175s in public service configuration, becoming the world's first operator of this new variant which enlarges the H175 mission capacity to search and rescue, emergency medical services, law enforcement and firefighting, as well as land and maritime border control operations.
In 2015, GFS became the launch customer of the public service version of the H175 with an order for seven helicopters. The four remaining aircraft will be delivered before the end of the year.
"GFS has been very involved in the development of this new H175 version and it is a great honour to be here today to receive the first three aircraft," said Michael Chan, controller head of GFS. "Thanks to the H175's speed, advanced technology and versatility we will not only be able to strengthen our response capability but also be able to intervene in the most complex situations and in a large variety of scenarios."
The new H175s will progressively replace GFS's current fleet of AS332 L2 and H155 helicopters, which provide 24-hour emergency support services from its base at Chek Lap Kok Airport.
"I am grateful to GFS for its constant support and I am committed to ensuring that the H175 will fulfil its most demanding operations," said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. "We are very honoured to have the confidence of a world-renowned public service and SAR operator and longstanding customer to introduce this latest version of the H175 into service. With 23 aircraft currently in operation worldwide, the H175 keeps delivering on its promises in terms of performance, range and cabin comfort for oil and gas, private and public services customers."
The public service version of the H175 benefits from more than 20 cabin configurations that can be easily reconfigured based on mission requirements. The versatility of the aircraft is enhanced by approximately 70 different types of optional equipment including an electro-optical system for observation and tracking and a digital map display, both of which are managed by an operator's console installed in the cabin. Mission equipment also includes a dual hoist, a search light, an infrared camera and a radioactivity detector, which is a GFS-specific piece of equipment.
The H175 benefits from Airbus Helicopters' state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite, which bolsters the helicopter's search and rescue capabilities with advanced SAR modes, allowing the aircraft to hover automatically above moving vessels.