Texan operator Air Center Helicopters (ACHI) has added 11 H225 helicopters to its fleet, courtesy of leasing specialist Milestone Aviation Group. The aircraft will be delivered throughout 2021 and 2022 and will primarily be used for utility, training and transport missions for US government contract operations.
CEO of Air Center Helicopters Rod Tinney says: “The strength of our long-term partnerships with Milestone Aviation and Airbus Helicopters has been a key factor in the success of giving the H225 a new life among heavy helicopters operated in non-O&G environments. Through our work with Milestone Aviation, we have been successful in pivoting the fleet towards numerous opportunities within the utility segment. With this new deal, we are positioning ourselves for further growth and continued support of our customers for years to come.”
As the largest civilian owner of the H225, Milestone worked closely with ACHI and Airbus Helicopters, to repurpose and transition the helicopter type into new missions including vertical replenishment (vertrep), a method of supply of seaborne vessels by helicopter, casualty and medical evacuations (casevac/medevac).
The H225 fleet is also operated by ACHI in the US where it is used for training purposes. The type was recently deployed in support of the SpaceX Crew Dragon splashdown to assist in the crew and cargo transport from the main recovery ship.
Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even states: “The H225 is a true multi-mission platform, and the ACHI team has done an incredible job utilising its capabilities for a variety of critical missions across the U.S. and beyond. We are proud of the longstanding partnerships we've developed with both Milestone Aviation and Air Center Helicopters and stand ready to support them as they continue to expand operations with the H225.”
With this announcement, Milestone Aviation will soon lease 18 H225 helicopters into ACHI's fleet.
Milestone CEO Pat Sheedy concludes: “We are extremely proud of the work we have accomplished with Air Center Helicopters. The team has demonstrated great leadership to successfully transition the H225 into the utility role including some exciting new missions such as supporting the SpaceX programme and has fostered a unique partnership in the process. This result has also been achieved thanks to our strong and long-lasting relationship with Airbus. Expert task teams were brought together to identify how best to return these aircraft to service and repurpose the fleet; a major achievement for all involved.”