Western Power Distribution (WPD) has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus Helicopters UK for a new EC135 P2e . This new rotary aircraft will join WPD’s current fleet of four EC135 P1s, making it one of the largest, independent fleets in the UK.
Robin Tutcher, WPD’s Helicopter Unit Manager said: “Augmenting the existing fleet has become a necessity because our helicopters play a major role in assisting with the fault diagnosis, maintenance and the management of the WPD electricity network. This additional aircraft will help us to increase our current annual flying levels from 2,800 to 3,500 hours.”
“With a proven track record, minimal downtime and limited maintenance input which is complemented by ongoing support from the Airbus PBH and Pratt and Whitney FMP programmes, the selection of the EC135 P2 as our fifth aircraft was a straightforward decision.”
This new EC135 P2e meets WPD’s tough requirements thanks to its extended range and simple, multi-purpose design which allows for fast and easy maintenance and optimal dispatch reliability. The helicopter is due to be delivered in March 2015.
“The increased capability EC135 P2e provides WPD with an aircraft to meet their most critical mission requirements, directly supporting them to keep their 7.8 million customers on line,” said Colin James, Managing Director at Airbus Helicopters UK.
“As the UK’s premium rotorcraft supplier, it is very important for us to be supporting our country’s infrastructure providers where we can. We will ensure that WPD continues to benefit from an aircraft and a support service which guarantees the very highest levels of availability.”
With a recent order by another customer for two EC135 T3 for Air Ambulance roles, the selection by WPD strengthens Airbus Helicopters position as the market leader in National Resilience with 70% of the market.