The Philippine Coast Guard has welcomed its second H145 helicopter, four months after the official commissioning of its first H145. With its two light twins, the parapublic agency becomes the first coast guard organisation in the world to operate the multi-purpose H145.
The new four-tonne rotorcraft is specially equipped with weather radar, bambi bucket and emergency flotation gears, as well as an external loudspeaker, to perform critical missions such as SAR, maritime patrol, law enforcement and firefighting.
“Having led numerous operations in the country for many years, we are very happy to be the first in the Philippines to introduce the H145 for parapublic missions,” says Philipps Y. Soria, commander of Coast Guard Aviation Force at the agency's 119th anniversary celebrations where the second H145 was commissioned. “Our work is ever-evolving, and we need an aircraft that can keep up with a wide range of requirements. We appreciate the H145's versatility, endurance and reliability in all conditions.”
Lionel de Maupeou, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Philippines, adds: “The Philippine Coast Guard and Airbus go a long way back since the agency's first BO105 in 1975. We are delighted that it has chosen the H145 to strengthen its parapublic fleet. The first H145 helicopter already operated by the Coast Guard, has proven itself and has taken on numerous humanitarian missions, including the delivery of personal protection equipment and essential supplies to frontline workers in the Coast Guard District in Negros Occidental, a province located in the Southern Visayas, earlier in March in the fight against COVID-19. We are also happy to know that this second H145 has recently undertaken its first surveillance mission.
“We believe that this high performing light-twin helicopter, with its outstanding mission capability, flexibility and operational excellence, will be a perfect fit for the Philippine Coast Guard's most demanding and critical missions. Airbus remains strongly committed, with the support of our in-country team based in Manila, in ensuring the fleet's high availability for all missions.”
In the Philippines alone, there are currently six H145 helicopters deployed mainly for business aviation purposes. Globally, more than 1,400 units are currently in service, achieving more than 5.9 million flight hours.