Airbus Helicopters has finally achieved US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification for its H160 medium-twin – virtually three years since it was granted European type approval.

“We are pleased to receive FAA certification for the H160, which is testament to many years of hard work and commitment from our teams in order to deliver this multirole helicopter to the customers in North America who have already placed their trust in the H160,” says Bruno Even, chief executive of Airbus Helicopters.

H160-c-Thierry Rostang_Airbus Helicopters

Source: Thierry Rostang/Airbus Helicopters

PHI will carry out route-proving trial in the USA

“This aircraft features the highest level of innovation and we are confident that its advanced capabilities, along with our strong customer support network, will solidify its position as the preferred choice for customers in the US.”

European regulators approved the H160 on 1 July 2020 and it has since been certificated by the authorities in Japan and Brazil.

Airbus Helicopters had expected US certification to be much quicker, but factors including the Covid pandemic, internal issues at the FAA, and a cockpit screen-blanking flaw combined to slow the process.

FAA approval will enable the start of deliveries in the USA, alongside a route-proving study to be conducted by oil and gas operator PHI for customer Shell.

To date, the in-service fleet has accumulated over 1,700 flight hours.