Feb. 27, 2014, Anaheim, Ca. - The increased scope of Airbus Helicopters’ support and services offer is being spotlighted at this week’s 2014 Heli-Expo exhibition in Anaheim, California, where the company is providing details on support for new aircraft, training and operations, helicopter upgrades, new information services and enhancements to the Keycopter® customer portal.
By Carey Fredericks
“Keeping our helicopters flight-ready with customers and operators is one of Airbus Helicopters’ top priorities, and we are innovating strongly in 2014 in providing reactive support and services in response to their evolving needs,” said Matthieu Louvot, Airbus Helicopters Senior Vice President of Support & Services.
Airbus Helicopters is deploying five new online services in 2014 and significantly expanding the global coverage of its existing online e-Spares ordering solution so as to cover 80 percent of its global customer base in 2015.
The first of the new online services – WebMIS, the cloud-based helicopter maintenance information system developed in partnership with global aviation software provider Ramco Systems – will be available on Keycopter® in 2014. WebMIS is now being integrated by the first user: the Blueway Nordic helicopter group for its Dancopter AS and Blueway Offshore Norge AS operations. The WebMIS information system tracks maintenance and logistics operations in real-time online, thereby increasing fleet availability, saving time and money, and enhancing the availability of spares, tools and personnel – all without capital expenditure.
Airbus Helicopters also is launching its new O.R.I.O.N interactive viewer that allows customers to easily consult all the latest technical documentation online and directly access regularly updated work cards. This key service will be progressively deployed for the entire helicopter range throughout 2014, beginning today with the EC130.
The third new online offer introduced at Heli-Expo is the company’s business intelligence service, which enables operators to identify areas of possible improvement by using their own data mapped against helicopter fleet-wide data. New Keycopter® offerings also include an e-Customer Request portal and e-Warranty. An additional service coming soon is the electronic Technical Log Book (e-TLB), which enables highly efficient real-time communication between flight operations and maintenance to reduce aircraft-on-ground situations and improve helicopter availability.
Another new offering on display for the first time at Heli-Expo is a catalogue of 150 upgrade solutions based on Service Bulletins and Supplemental Type Certificates. The standardization of such services (including kits preparation and double certification) allows shorter lead times, higher competitiveness and higher maintenance efficiency. The standardized upgrades are now available via e-Ordering on Keycopter. Additionally, an easy-to-use automatic quotation and research tool for off-the-shelf kits will go live in the first quarter of 2015. This evolution of the Keycopter® e-Ordering process will enable customers to receive a quotation in a matter of minutes in an interactive manner.
Contributing to Airbus Helicopters’ innovative support and services portfolio is its customized Component Support Program in the United States – a “pay as you fly” offer based on simple flat rate per flight hour charges for direct maintenance costs. Airbus Helicopters provides the spares parts required to support operators’ scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events, backed by the company’s resources for around-the-clock AOG support, its global supply chain network support, dedicated technical support network and personalized maintenance forecasting.
Addressing market expectations for availability commitments is Airbus Helicopters’ Performance-Based Services (PBS) offer. The company proposes four different comprehensive support packages including full logistics, maintenance and airworthiness management targeted at different customer missions and needs. The company signed a PBS contract for Lithuania’s Air Force at the end of 2013 – a six-year daily helicopter availability commitment – which ensures a successful entry into service for the operator’s Search and Rescue fleet.
To support the new EC175 helicopter’s entry-into-service, dedicated resources will be available to customers, including spare parts inventories in close proximity, six months of onsite technical assistance, and comprehensive training for pilots prior to first delivery. Training will be done on the EC175 Flight Navigation Procedure Training (FNPT) and Level D Full Flight Simulator, both located in Marignane and operational in spring and summer 2014, respectively. As the fleet expands, other EC175 Full Flight Simulators will be deployed in those regions where customers put the aircraft into service, including the southern United States by 2016. Operators of the EC145 T2 can likewise expect a service portfolio that includes training and operations, system and software maintenance, and turnkey solutions, as well as a Full Flight Simulator to be deployed in Donäuworth, Germany in 2015.