Sikorsky is relocating its forward stocking location (FSL) from Australia’s east coast in Brisbane to the west coast in Perth.
The FSL will continue to be operated by Sikorsky Australia, the OEM's regional subsidiary, for the provision of after-market support including airframe, component and rotor blade maintenance along with material sales, design engineering, non-destructive testing and maintenance training throughout the Asia Pacific.
Sikorsky anticipates that moving the FSL from Brisbane to Perth will further improve the availability of S-92 helicopters in the critical oil and gas regions in Western Australia and throughout the region. The company plans to increase stocking volumes at the FSL in Perth throughout the year.
The move has been welcomed by helicopter operators who service the oil and gas industry across the Asia Pacific, including on Australia’s western coast. Babcock Aviation Offshore Australasia managing director Andrew Cridland says: “The move of the Sikorsky FSL to Perth has been seamless. Babcock provides a range of services to blue chip oil and gas companies from a number of remote locations in Australia, as well as in Dili in Timor-Leste, and we look forward to continued service and support from Sikorsky’s new facility in Western Australia.”
“Having an FSL in Western Australia is extremely beneficial for operators like Bristow and the businesses that rely upon our aircraft,” adds Bristow Asia Pacific Operations engineering manager Neil Seabrook. “Bristow provides 24/7 services to the oil and gas industry in Western Australia. Having an FSL in the region where we can communicate and work in the same time zone will have major economic, business and efficiency benefits not just for us, but also for our oil and gas customers.”
The new location is close to CHC headquarters in Perth, and closer to many of its bases and offshore operations, for which the operator's regional director for the Asia Pacific market Vince D’Rozario says: “This will help us continue to ensure our fleet has efficient and effective access to the parts necessary to keep us flying safely and efficiently.” And PHI president and general manager, international oil and gas Keith Mullett concludes: “The new forward stocking location in Perth will be instrumental in supporting our fleet and demonstrates Sikorsky’s commitment to the Australian offshore oil and gas market.”
Australia has always been a strategically important region for Sikorsky’s commercial business, and the regional fleet has grown to 22 S-92 helicopters, totaling more than 40,000 flight hours over the last decade, of which nearly 15,000 hours were flown in 2018. In addition, the FSL is both positioned and equipped to support S-92 and S-76 aircraft throughout the Asia Pacific.
“At Sikorsky Australia, we pride ourselves on partnering and working with our customers to understand their requirements. Making the decision to relocate the FSL to Perth Australia will better meet our customers’ needs, not just in Western Australia but across the Asia Pacific,” says Sikorsky Australia general manager Andrew Rushbrook.
“We are seeing increased uptake of Sikorsky aircraft in the Asia Pacific region across a range of industries. Relocating the FSL to Western Australia will improve wait times and increase efficiency for all our customers, which is a great outcome for us here at Sikorsky Australia.”
Since 2016, Lockheed Martin has made significant investment into supporting both the S-92 and S-76. This includes a 24-hour customer care centre in Trumbull, Connecticut; the opening of four FSLs worldwide; an increase in the number of Sikorsky field service representatives; as well as the continued authorisation of Sikorsky customer support centres.