The Kingdom of Bhutan, (July 13, 2016)- Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited (rbhsl) has received its second H130 on 21 June, after the first has entered the Kingdom end of October last year. The new helicopter will join the first to perform similar missions.
Similar to the first H130, the second helicopter comes equipped with additional optional equipment such as an integrated tracking system, cargo sling, bambi bucket firefighting and an onboard medical stretcher enabling to perform medical evacuations. During the first seven months of operations, RBHSL has developed valuable experience in close to 46 medical evacuations and fire-fighting missions, evacuating about 40 patients and protecting natural forests, aligning environmentally-conscious Bhutan’s environmental policy of the Royal Government. Within the same period, the first H130 has ferried more than 400 passengers including VIP and tourism flights. Other than these, the H130 has also been deployed to fulfil social mandates such as flying teachers to rural areas to prepare for earlier school opening and providing charter services to the rural population where there are no road connectivities.
“With the arrival of the second H130, our reliability in terms of delivering services has increased as opposed to having a single H130 in the fleet. Both helicopters will be deployed for the similar missions as mandated by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The H130 has lived up to our expectations with its multi-mission capabilities, wide versatility and superior flight experience because of the wide passenger cabin and low noise signature,” said Mr Chewang Gyeltshen, CEO of the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited. “We have received numerous positive feedback from the various missions performed so far by the H130 that was procured and at the same time, able to meet the mission requirements of the Royal Government of Bhutan.”
In addition to its versatility, the H130 has proven its capability to perform in high-altitude conditions. Based at 7,400 feet in Paro International Airport, the H130 demonstrated excellent performance in a country, where temperature is ISA+20⁰C. The Kingdom of Bhutan located in between two giants- China and India, is at the heart of Himalayan mountain range reaching more than 17,000ft, with narrow valleys and rugged terrains. The H130 equipped with the Fenestron® adapts excellently to these demanding terrains and regularly landed below 100 feet to as high as 16,000 feet.
“We are extremely pleased to see that the H130 is serving the nation well. RBHSL can count on Airbus Helicopters for our commitment to provide the best support and services to their fleet,” said Derek Sharples, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia. “We are amazed by the potential of this country and we look forward to more cooperation opportunities in Bhutan to continue the legacy of Airbus’ sole presence in Bhutan.”
The H130 is a member of the Ecureuil family of light helicopters, renowned for its performance, reliability, safety and multi-mission capability. Currently, more than 5000 Ecureuil helicopters are delivered and in operation, clocking more than 29 million hours of flight time.
Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited (rbhsl) is newly-created in August 2015. This is a state-owned company and its core mission is to provide helicopter assistance to the population of the Kingdom of Bhutan. With a starting strength of 20 experienced aviation professionals to kickstart operations, rbhsl is set to become the main and trusted provider for helicopter services in the Kingdom of Bhutan. rbhsl is based in Paro International Airport.
Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group, provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions worldwide. Its in-service fleet includes nearly 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 154 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 22,000 people worldwide and in 2015 generated revenues of 6.8 billion euros.