Austria's Ministry of the Interior (BMI) has introduced into service two Airbus H125 helicopters equipped for law enforcement and rescue missions. The aircraft join BMI's existing fleet of Airbus H135 and AS350 helicopters and will operate from Innsbruck and Salzburg on behalf of the Tyrolean government in the Tyrol and other mountainous areas of Austria.
The first aircraft was handed over at a ceremony in Innsbruck on 17 October in the presence of Austrian interior minister Wolfgang Peschorn and governor of the Province of Tyrol Günther Platter. The helicopters feature a suite of mission equipment in a customised configuration designed by Airbus Helicopters in the UK and fitted at the company's Oxford headquarters. The package includes a dual cargo hook, night vision compatibility, searchlight, firefighting equipment including the interface for Bambi bucket operation and Tetra tactical communications, among others.
The H125 was selected by BMI due to its versatility and all-round performance, which are critical to delivering mission availability in Austria's Alpine regions throughout the year.
Head of air police Werner Senn says: “It has been a complex design and implementation process to provide the H125 with the capabilities that we wanted and it is a tribute to the excellent cooperation between our respective teams that we achieved the desired result. This will give the BMI and the Tyrol region one of the most advanced police aviation capabilities in Europe on an aircraft of this size.”
MD of Airbus Helicopters in the UK Colin James adds: “The ability of our team to devise and deliver the most extensive mission configuration has been critical to the successful provision of this exceptionally capable aircraft. This design makes the most of the H125's underlying performance and demonstrates the key contribution that the company's UK operation can deliver to specialised customers worldwide.”