Helicopters, crew and equipment needed for logistics support and scientific work

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has released a request for tender (RFT) for the supply of helicopters, crew and equipment to support AAD activities in the Antarctic operational area.

The contract, initially for three years, with the possibility of a two-year extension, will start on 1 August. The RFT closes on 27 May.

The AAD uses helicopters for ship support operations and to support Australian stations and field camps in Antarctica. Most recently, it has used Eurocopter AS350BA Squirrels and Sikorsky S76As.

Station-based helicopters, which can stay in the area for up to five months, are used for logistics support and airborne scientific work. Additional operations include medical evacuation, exploration and reconnaissance, surveys, and search and rescue.

Technical specifications for the single-engined helicopters include an internal payload of at least 300kg (660lb) with pilot, survival and flotation equipment over a 300km (160nm) range; an external payload of at least 600kg with pilot, survival and flotation equipment over 100km; seating for at least four passengers; an emergency flotation system; minimum internal cargo capacity of at least 2m3 (70ft3); and an Iridium telephone.

Two ski-equipped EADS Casa 212-400s supplied by Sydney-based Skytraders are also used for transcontinental flights in Antarctica, conducting transport and field support services between the Antarctic bases of Casey, Davis and Mawson.

Helicopters are required because Davis cannot be served by fixed-wing aircraft – the station has only a skiway. The AAD has also been considering the purchase of a Dassault Falcon 900EX for flights between Hobart, Tasmania and Antarctica.


Source: Flight International