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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Leonardo Helicopters
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AgustaWestland AW139

BAN's World Gazetteer

Italy
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Agencies share AW139s for emergency response
Italy's Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and Air Force and the National Fire Corps are to fly AW139s with shared logistics, training and support. Fifty-six have been chosen by agencies in Italy.
Italy’s National Fire Corps has received its first two AW139 helicopters. The type forms the backbone of the country’s rescue and emergency response services.
Read this story in our May 2019 printed issue.

The Italian National Fire Corps (NFC) has taken delivery of its first two AW139 helicopters at Leonardo's Vergiate facility. The aircraft will be used to deliver advanced, more effective emergency response services in Italy.

More than 816,000 rescues and sorties are performed every year countering fires across Europe, including many in Italy, and the AW139s, planned to progressively replace the Italian National Fire Corps AB412s which have been in service for decades, will guarantee optimal coverage and a more rapid responsiveness across the country. The Italian NFC will receive a third AW139 this year under a 45 million euro contract signed in 2018. The contract also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, and encompasses an option for 12 additional helicopters. The first two helicopters will be based in Rome Ciampino for NFC personnel training.

The backbone of the country's rescue services, the AW139 is also in service with the Italy's Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and Air Force. The NFC's AW139s feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red/Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo's high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo's Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows.

The various Italian Government agencies operating the AW139 are able to benefit from shared logistics, training and support systems. This latest selection by the NFC brings the total number of AW139s chosen by all of these Italian Government operators to 56, covering a wide scope of public utility roles including law enforcement and homeland security, patrol, special operations, SAR, command and control, government/VVIP transport, disaster relief and training. In Italy the AW139 has also proven the helicopter of choice for many EMS operators.

A number of law enforcement, maritime/border patrol and security agencies from countries around the world, including Italy, the UK, USA, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Sweden, Spain, Estonia, The Netherlands, Brazil, and UAE, have selected or are already operating the AW139 to fulfil their requirements. Over 270 customers from around 70 nations have already ordered more than 1,100 AW139s, more than 950 of which are in service.

Other News
 
Greece boosts emergency response with three AW139s
May 28, 2024
The order also includes a comprehensive technical, logistical support and training package. The AW139s will be operated by the Fire Brigade on behalf of the Ministry from a base in Attica.
Mitsui Bussan commits to three AW139s for Japan
March 5, 2024
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in Japan; those in service there have logged in excess of 110,000 flight hours, performing several utility operations, as well as supporting several prefectures and city authorities.
Castle Air adds third AW139 for UK ops
March 2, 2024
Helicopter passenger transport service provider Castle Air adds third AW139 to fleet of 10 Leonardo aircraft for operations in the UK.