Hong Kong based Government Flying Service (GFS) has received three H175s in public services configuration, becoming the world’s first operator of this new variant which enlarges the H175 mission capacity to search and rescue (SAR), emergency medical services, law enforcement, firefighting as well as land and maritime border control operations.
Airbus Helicopters said on 18 June that GFS became the launch customer of the H175 in public services version with an order for seven helicopters. The four remaining helicopters will be delivered before the end of the year.
“The Government Flying Service has been very involved in the development of this new H175 version and it is a great honor to be here today to receive the first three aircraft”, said Michael Chan, Controller Head of GFS. “Thanks to the H175’s speed, advanced technology and versatility we will not only be able to strengthen our response capability but also be able to intervene in the most complex situations and in a large variety of scenarios.”
GFS’s new H175 will progressively replace their current fleet of AS332 L2 and H155, which currently provide 24-hour emergency support services from their base at Chek Lap Kok Airport.
“I am grateful to GFS for their constant support and I am committed to ensuring that the H175 will fulfil their most demanding operations” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “We are very honoured to have the confidence of a world-renowned public service and SAR operator and longstanding customer to introduce this latest version of the H175 into service. With 23 aircraft currently in operation worldwide, the H175 keeps delivering on its promises in terms of performance, range and cabin comfort for oil & gas, private and public services customers”.
The public service version of the H175 benefits from more than twenty cabin configurations which can be easily re-configured based on mission requirements. The great versatility of the aircraft is backed by approximately seventy different types of optional equipment which include an electro-optical system for observation and tracking and a digital map display, both of being managed by an operator’s console installed in the cabin. Mission equipment also includes a dual hoist, a search light, an infrared camera, as well as a radioactivity detector, which is a GFS-specific equipment.
The H175 benefits from the latest developments of Airbus Helicopters’ state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite, which bolsters the helicopter’s search and rescue capabilities with advanced SAR modes, allowing for instance the aircraft to hover automatically above moving vessels.