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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has signed a $15 million HCare Infinite full-availability support solution with Airbus Helicopters, Inc. The comprehensive contract, initially covering two years with the option to extend up to 10, provides the entire spectrum of support needs for NASA’s fleet of three H135 helicopters, which will begin deliveries later this month.
Airbus will ensure operational availability by managing all of NASA’s scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, as well as spare parts. In addition, Airbus will be responsible for the helicopter flight operations by stationing two pilots, two mechanics and one program manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
“With this new HCare contract, NASA is relying on Airbus’s manufacturer expertise for the comprehensive management of all support and service needs. The OEM experience and knowledge will provide support as NASA transitions from an aging aircraft fleet into the advanced H135 helicopter,” said David Ramsey, chief of flight operations at NASA Kennedy Space Center. “The OEM level of expertise will ensure that the transition of aircraft is a smooth and safe process and will allow KSC Flight Operations to focus our attention on supporting those NASA programs and partners that are advancing science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration.”
NASA will operate its new fleet of H135 helicopters, purchased as part of a fleet renewal initiative, at Cape Canaveral for a variety of missions including security around rocket launches, emergency medical services, and qualified personnel transport.