New Timor choppers arrive

BABCOCK Australasia has taken delivery two new Airbus H175 super-medium helicopters in Darwin sent on contract from Dili, Timor-Leste, and it is understood they will be servicing Conoco-Philips’ Bayu-Undan production operations in the Timor Sea.

New Timor choppers arrive Airbus H175 being loaded into an Antonov.

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Babcock, a London-headquartered engineering services company, won a helicopter contract with ConocoPhillips in April. 
 
Under that contract, Babcock's two new Airbus H175 helicopters were to operate from Dili, and be supported from the company's new Joint Operations Centre in base in the Regional Support Centre in Adelaide.
 
The $20 million choppers are a first for Australia and will be assembled by Babcock engineers after being delivered via an Antonov An-124, one of the world's largest aircraft. 
 
Babcock will begin operations on the first day of the new year, with its contract taking in personnel transport, search and rescue support and medevac in the Timor Sea, 500km northwest of Darwin. 
 
"We are delighted to be expanding our footprint in the region," Babcock offshore services Australasia managing director John Boag said , who called it a first for Australian aviation and evidence of Babcock's growing mission critical capabilities in Australia. 
 
The large 16-passenger H175 was chosen as a best-of-type for the purposes of the contract, offering an excellent payload and superior single-engine performance. 
 
Babcock has been training 27 pilots and engineers in the assembly, flight and maintenance of the helicopters and another 19 Timorese will be employed, including four local engineers who will head to France for training directly with Airbus next year. 
 
"This contract represents a significant capital investment in aircraft, infrastructure and training by Babcock and is the culmination of many months of planning, preparation and implementation," Boag said.  
 
ConocoPhillips operates the Bayu-Undan joint ventures in the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the Timor Sea with Santos, Inpex, Eni, Tokyo Timor Sea Resources and the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste. 
 

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