Airbus Helicopters has signed a contract with the Spanish Traffic Department to supply a total of seven helicopters: four AS355 NP Ecureuils and three EC135s, with the latter aircraft to be operated by Spain’s National Police Force. Delivery will begin in 2014 with one EC135 and one AS355 NP and will be completed in 2016.
Spain’s Traffic Department (DGT) has been operating helicopters built by Airbus Helicopters since 1970 (under the previous company names Aerospatiale and Eurocopter), and was the first unit of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior to work with these aircraft. Its fleet of 18 helicopters is used for surveillance, traffic regulation and highway patrols from its central headquarters in Madrid and peripheral patrols throughout Spanish territory (excluding Catalonia and the Basque Country).
Airbus Helicopters España CEO Francisco Vergé expressed his great pride in winning the contract, as for him it “constitutes a further vote of confidence by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior in our helicopters, which make up their entire fleet and have proven their worth on a range of different missions.”
With the addition of these four twin-engine AS355 NP Ecureuil helicopters, the DGT will become one of the largest fleet operators of this model in the world, continuing its commitment to this reliable, safe and sturdy helicopter, which boasts excellent handling and ease of maintenance.
Meanwhile, the fleet of EC135 helicopters operated by the Police’s Aerial Services will be increased to 16 aircraft. This will reinforce the presence of this aircraft in Spain, where it has consolidated its role in recent years as a multi-purpose vehicle for law enforcement forces and agencies (including the Guardia Civil, Police and Traffic Department). As well as being the Spanish helicopter of choice for MEDEVAC services, the recent contract signed with the Spanish Ministry of Defense also proves that the EC135 is perfect for military flight training and humanitarian missions carried out by the Military Emergency Unit.