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Bristow Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bell to explore the 525’s possible use as a search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft as it continues to diversify its business away from the offshore oil-and-gas market.
A Bell 525 mock-up in Bristow colors dominates the Bell display at Heli Expo 2018, which begins today at the Los Vegas Convention Center.
Bristow president and CEO Jonathan Baliff told Vertical that the Bell 525 would complement its “existing fleet of Sikorsky S-92 and Leonardo AW139 and AW189 SAR helicopters.”
Baliff said attraction of the Bell 525 includes its fly-by-wire flight controls, large cabin and its lower direct operating costs as it pursues new SAR contracts including government outsourcing of government SAR work.
Last year, Bristow saw the financial benefit of winning new SAR contracts in the U.K. and Trinidad.
In contrast, Baliff says Bristow has no interest in acquiring new aircraft for the offshore transportation market where we’ve got “more than enough aircraft right now to current meet demand.”