BAN's World GazetteerFrance
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) has taken delivery of the first of 16 new H125 helicopters from Airbus Helicopters. AMO collaborated with Airbus as part of a long-term fleet upgrade initiative, and the resulting configuration has led to an advanced, high-tech law enforcement helicopter.
“Our mission is to safeguard the nation by anticipating and confronting security threats,” says Steve Boyer, deputy executive assistant commissioner for AMO. “Airbus Helicopters' continued commitment to designing, manufacturing and delivering quality products will enable our personnel to successfully and safely carry out this mission.”
The first helicopter for the new configuration was tested and delivered from Airbus Helicopters' facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. The remaining aircraft are being built in Columbus, Mississippi, where a workforce made up of 40 per cent US veterans also produces the UH-72A Lakota for the US Army and has delivered more than 450 single-engine H125 aircraft for the North American market.
Following a rigorous analysis of its mission needs and next generation aerospace technology, AMO developed a set of requirements for the new helicopters, which Airbus put in place through nearly 30 STCs. The series of STCs are tied together through a primary all-encompassing STC that ensures all of the systems interact properly with one another and with the basic aircraft.
Airbus and AMO have a longstanding relationship of more than 30 years, during which Airbus has delivered more than 100 helicopters from the H120 and H125 family. This new acquisition was made possible through a partnership with Davenport Aviation, an SBA-certified woman-owned small business and HUBZone contractor specialising in the supply of aerospace equipment to federal, state and local government agencies.
“We are honoured to partner with Airbus Helicopters and US CBP to support this fleet upgrade for enhanced law enforcement capabilities through the procurement of 16 new H125 helicopters from our GSA contract,” comments Leah Simoes, owner and chairwoman of Davenport Aviation. “Throughout this project, we have been very appreciative of the support we have received from Airbus and CBP of our WOSB, HUBZone Certified small business.”